Sunday, March 06, 2011

Statement by Steve Murdock: Putting "It's basically over for Anglos" in Context

Note: As we recently indicated, there has been some controversy to a statement attributed to demographer Steve Murdock that in Texas "it's basically over for Anglos." Having worked with Dr. Murdock when he was Census Bureau Director in 2007-2009, we knew that this quote was taken out of context given his outstanding track record of professionalism and fairness, as well as his support of Latino concerns at the Census Bureau and in his other positions. So, we asked him to put the matter to rest in his own words, which appear below.

---Angelo Falcón

Statement by Steve Murdock:
Putting "It's basically over for Anglos" in Context

The quote that it is "basically over for Anglos" was taken from a comment from an audience member at a Mexican American Legislative Caucus Meeting in Austin where I was a speaker. An audience member said, "it sounds to me like it is basically over for Anglos" to which I responded that, "Well I guess that is one way to look at it but I am talking about the likelihood that Anglo populations will again show extensive growth."

I went on to point out that Anglo birth rates have been below replacement for some time and that the main source for Anglo immigrants would be Europe but that Europe's population is growing slowly and is the only region of the world projected by the United Nations to show population decline between now and 2050.

My comments related to differences in income and education were made to indicate that legislation such as that to eliminate scholarship programs for poor youth (who are primarily minority in Texas) was a mistake and that data for Texas (with 2 of every 3 persons under 18 years of age being non-Anglo in 2010 and with recent growth in public elementary and secondary school populations from the 1998-99 to 2008-09 school years showing that Anglo school children decreased by over 130,000, African American children increased by about 100,000, Asians by about 74,000 but Hispanic children in public schools increased by about 745,000), clearly showed that the future of Texas is tied to its minority populations, particularly Hispanics.

I closed making the point that I often do that "Texas needs to ensure that all Texans have the skills and education to be competitive in the increasingly international economy and that the future of Texas will be increasingly determined by minority populations, particularly Hispanics, and that how well they do (in educational, economic, and other terms) is how well Texas will do."

I hope this helps to clarify things. I believe anyone who doubts where I stand could ask Hispanic leaders in Texas with whom I have worked closely for years.

Best wishes,
Steve Murdock

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