Like any other country that is truly multicultural — and few if any are as diverse as the United States — America has its race-based challenges. Some are real and some are politically ginned up, but they all become hurdles to a more unified country.
However, maybe the best measure of where America really stands in the world comes from the choices of black African immigrants. Native Sub-Saharan Africans, by their actions of free movement, seems to have judged that America is not racist — or is perhaps the least racist country in the world offering the greatest opportunities.
This conclusion stems from one breathtaking fact: America is the most popular immigration destination for Africans. More than European nations, than Asia nations, than South American nations. More than any other country in the world. It’s not even close. Further, America is becoming geometrically more popular with black Africans every decade.
The New York Times did a story on the phenomena, but either missed or ignored the import of what the actually data means. Their angle was how the immigration was affecting the makeup of New York City boroughs, and they ran it in the New York Region section, not nationally. In fact, you rarely see this data as national news. You decide why.
A shocking slavery comparison
However, the Times story did make this jarring and rather astounding number comparison:
“Between 2000 and 2010, the number of legal black African immigrants in the United States about doubled, to around one million. During that single decade, according to the most reliable estimates, more black Africans arrived in this country on their own than were imported directly to North America during the more than three centuries of the slave trade.”
What? Yes. More black Africans voluntarily chose to come to America in one decade than were forced to during 300 years of slavery. That hardly sounds like a nation with terrible race-relations — at least in contrast to the rest of the world.
And that is the important caveat.
America’s race relations definitely need to improve — and it is on all races to make that happen. But throughout history this has been a global problem. So today, according to the people who have choices of where to immigrate, the fact that they choose the United States in increasing droves suggests that compared to all the rest of the world, we may have the best race relations. Certainly the best race relations and economic opportunities combo.
Geometric rise in black immigration to America
According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, as of 2015, there were nearly 2.1 million people living in the U.S. who were born in Africa. That number is up from 880,000 in 2000 and only 80,000 in 1970. By 1970 Jim Crow was completely eliminated in the South and the Civil Rights Acts were passed.
Monica Anderson, a research associate and the author of the study, said the numbers are doubling every decade, and she expects that trend to continue.
“In 1980 only 1 percent of refugees admitted to the U.S. were from an African country and today that share is about 37 percent,” she told Voice of America in an interview. Consider that. The rate of Africans immigrating to the United States as a portion of our immigrant, legal immigrant, population is 37 times higher than it was less than 40 years ago.
Interestingly, guess which state is the top destination for black African immigrants? California? No. New York? No.
Why a southern, conservative state like Texas, which is supposedly anti-immigration? Specific reasons were not given in the research. But it does not seem hard to surmise.
Still the land of opportunity
Immigrants, legal immigrants, don’t come here looking for handouts and government benefits. They still see America as the land of opportunity, where they can make a better life for themselves and for their children. And Texas is one of the best states for immigrants who want to work hard to get ahead and seize opportunities.
This is all completely countervailing to the views of many in elite American institutions, such as the media, Hollywood and the federal government in D.C. In those circles — and among those they influence — America continues to to be an ultra racist country that elected Donald Trump based on racism.
You can see such stories on virtually a daily basis in national news, online mainstream media sites and in your local media outlets. But they are at odds with this immigration reality — which they all but ignore.
Seeing America as ultra racist considering the state of the world has long seemed fictitious, a political opportunity for many to pit the races against each other in search of money, power and votes. It worked well for some black “leaders” such as Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Jr. and new black lives matter leaders such as Deroy Murdock and others. But it is not true. Other causes are driving poverty and violence in many American cities.
And now we can see in black people’s actual life choices from the African continent, it appears even more clearly not to be true.
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The Revolutionary Act. Readers may subscribe to The Revolutionary Act’s YouTube channel by clicking here.