View from Lodi, CA: “Ethnically Ambiguous”?

About a year ago, I noticed that
during television ads I could no longer identify the
models` ethnicity.

Up until that time, politically
correct ads went to

great pains to have an equal distribution
of males
and females who were black, white, Asian and Hispanic.

I called the models “blended
But the official term, I recently learned,
is “ethnically ambiguous.”

In a December 28 2003 New York
column titled Generation
E.A.: Ethnically Ambiguous
,” reporter Ruth La
Ferla quoted Ron Berger, chief executive of New York`s
advertising and trend research company Euro RSCG MVBMS
Partners, "Today what`s ethnically neutral, diverse
or ambiguous has tremendous appeal both in the
mainstream and at the high end of the marketplace. What
is perceived as good, desirable and successful is often
a face whose heritage is hard to pin down."

Advertisers make no bones about it.
They purposely seek out models with indeterminate
features for their shoots. An example is Indian model

, the

new face
of the exclusive YSL Beauty Cosmetics. Her
agent, Ivan Bart, says, “You look at her and you
begin to play a guessing game. Is she Mexican, Spanish,
Russian? The fact that you can`t be sure is part of her

Two high-profile sport heroes are
E.A.s: golf champion

Tiger Woods
—father black and mother Thai—and New
York Yankee shortstop

Derek Jeter
—Black and Caucasian.

Among the 25-year-old and younger
members of Generation Y, the most diverse population in
America`s history, multiracial is “in”.
Demographers point to sustained high levels of
immigration and intermarriage between different groups
of those immigrants as the driving force behind an

increasingly multiracial America.

La Ferla quoted Gregory Spencer,
the Census Bureau population projections chief: “The
younger the age group, the more diverse the population.”

When the
results of Census 2000 were first published, much was
written about the seven million Americans who identified
themselves as

members of more than one race.
These individuals
took advantage of the opportunity the Census provided to
check more than one category for race.

Another 14
million Hispanics skipped over boxes for black or white
choosing instead “some other race.”

There will be snowballs in hell before
any Hispanic checks “White” for ethnicity.
“White” is how Hispanics

refer to Anglo-Saxons. For example,

Art Torres in 1995
“Remember, Prop 187 is the
last gasp of

White America in California

geographic regions are more apt to have significant
numbers of ethnically ambiguous people. The obvious
places that pop into mind are Los Angeles, San
Francisco, New York and Miami.

professions have a highly visible E.A. representation.
In the world of fashion, film and music we look at
Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Cristina


Vin Diesel.

advertisers, ethnic ambiguity is a bonanza. H & M, a

-based marketer of cheap but cool clothing
with stores in 18 countries use “racial
models only. Said a spokesman,
“For us the models must be inspiring and attractive but
at the same time neutral.”

So is
America on a run-away freight train toward Ethnic

The sub-rosa
message in La Ferla`s article is that Ethnic

continued immigration
and intermarriage—will make
race and culture passé. And since the models and
athletes chosen for the piece are strikingly beautiful
and skilled, the conclusion we are urged to draw is that
ethnic ambiguity will create the ultimate

melting pot.

This one day may well happen. And
perhaps we are indeed looking into America`s future on
our television sets.

But to find out just how fast the
U.S. might turn into an ethnically ambiguous country, I
contacted one of the nation`s experts on population and
intermarriage, VDARE.COM`s own

Steve Sailer.

Sailer deals in the concrete world

census data
—not Hollywood or Seventh Avenue. Here,
from his two VDARE.COM columns,

“On Interracial Marriage”

“The Myth of Interracial Marriage”
 is how
Sailer parsed the Census 2000 figures:

  • Only 3.5% of married non-Hispanic
    whites intermarry.

  • Only 6% of black husbands and 2%
    of black wives are in interracial marriages.

  • Slightly under 18% of Hispanic
    wives have non-Hispanic husbands while slightly over
    15% of Hispanic husbands have non-Hispanic wives.

  • About 18% of Asian wives have
    white husbands but only 7% of Asian husbands have
    white wives.

As for the immigration portion of
the Ethnic Ambiguity equation, Sailer found that recent
immigrants are the least likely of groups to intermarry.

Quoting from a Public Policy
Institute of California study by Sonya M. Tafoya titled

“Mixed Race and Ethnicity,”
Sailer writes:

“Explanations include the fact that the foreign-born may

at the time of immigration, they might be
more likely to live in

ethnic enclaves
, they might be more closely tied to
a culture that

resists out-marriage
, or they might encounter
language barriers."

Despite the buzz from the
image-makers, progress toward total Ethnic Ambiguity,
whatever opinion you may have of if, is moving

slower than it appears

In fifteen years of
teaching and living in the San Joaquin Valley, I know of
two lasting interracial relationships, although there
are certainly more. A Cambodian student and a Vietnamese
student—both female—each married Mexicans. This is
virtually unheard of and went against the wishes of both

Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English
at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly
column since 1988. It currently appears in the

Lodi News-Sentinel