It’s common knowledge that birth rates tend to be higher in economically less developed places and lower in economically developed ones. For example, the birth rate in Italy is so low that the government offers money for fecundity. On the other hand, Niger, among the poorest countries in the world, is also the country with the highest birth rate, has the highest rates of illiteracy, and ranks sixth for infant mortality (the country also has a very high general death rate, ranking 7th in the world).
One could argue that it’s also common knowledge that, amongst the more diverse of ‘western’ nations, such economic trends continue to play out. Apparently that’s angered some white British folk – Melanie McDonough, writing for Britain’s Telegraph, complains of the inequities of the birth rate in her country, saying:
The people most likely to take their [groups which promote reproduction] views to heart are the agonised Anglo-Saxon liberals, for whom excess fecundity is never going to be much of a problem in the first place. They don’t seem to cut much ice with the Somali mothers you see in West London.
Right…because that’s so problematic. Oh noes, the world’s turning brown!
The comments, of course, are no less racist. Ms. McDonough, like many Brits and Americans alike, would simply love it if the “native whites” of their countries would start reproducing and the immigrants slowed it down a bit, or even stopped altogether (somehow reminds me of the Israeli attitude toward the Arab birthrate – “but they just have so many BABIES!“).
My favorite comment, however, is this one:
Think how Europe’s former colonies felt being dominated by a minority – now think replace “colony” with Britain. We want a place we can call our own, be ourselves, and want the right of self-determination – is that a familiar mantra? The problem when it comes out of the mouths of whites it’s racist. When it comes out of the mouths of non-whites though it is an inalienable right – a virtue.
I have to say, I really love it when white people compare the migration of non-whites (immigrant minorities) to wealthy countries to the colonization of other lands by whites as if those two concepts were simply reversals of the other (kind of like when white folks bring up “reverse racism”). They are no such thing: One involves wealth, power, and privilege, and the other – more often than not – involves escaping a place with few opportunities for one where there is (at least theoretically) more opportunity and freedom, and often very little power at all.
But hey, what do I know?
(Side note: If this kind of thing is interesting to you, I highly recommend my new favorite blog, Stuff White People Do, in which a white man deconstructs racial stereotypes, often snarkily).