WASHINGTON (AP) — Welcome to the new off-white America.
A historic decline in the number of U.S. whites and the fast growth of Latinos are blurring traditional black-white color lines, testing the limits of civil rights laws and reshaping political alliances as “whiteness” begins to lose its numerical dominance.
Long in coming, the demographic shift was most vividly illustrated in last November’s re-election of President Barack Obama, the first black president, despite a historically low percentage of white supporters.
It’s now a potent backdrop to the immigration issue being debated in Congress that could offer a path to citizenship for 11 million mostly Hispanic illegal immigrants. Also, the Supreme Court is deciding cases this term on affirmative action and voting rights that could redefine race and equality in the U.S.
The tradition of kicking off the new year with a bang – not to mention a little music, magic and more – remains alive and well in the Electric City.
For the 14th consecutive year, First Night Scranton will draw visitors to the city’s downtown, where a slew of venues will host activities and live performances on New Year’s Eve.
This year’s family-friendly event will bring attention to Scranton’s diversity through the theme “New Year’s Eve Around the World.”
“What we kind of focused on was how the ethnicity of the city is evolving and changing,” First Night project director Paige Balitski said. ”And we thought, you know, we should revisit what ethnicities were in the beginning of Scranton and what it’s changing into and adding to all of that.”