Majority Become the Minority in Several US Cities

Minorities become a majority in Washington region

By  and Ted Mellnik, Wednesday, August 31, 12:04 AM
Washington is among eight big-city metropolitan regions in which minorities became a majority in the past decade, according to a new analysis of census data showing white population declines in many of the largest metro areas.

Along with Washington, the regions surrounding New York, San Diego, Las Vegas and Memphis have become majority-minority since 2000. Non-Hispanic whites are a minority in 22 of the country’s 100-biggest urban areas.

The white population shrank in raw numbers in 42 of those big-city regions. But every large metro area showed a decline in the percentage of whites.

The shifts reflect the aging of the white population as more people get beyond their childbearing years and the relative youth of the Hispanic and Asian populations fueling most of the growth.

“What’s happened is pivotal,” said William Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution who conducted the analysis. “Large metropolitan areas will be the laboratories for change. The measures they take to help minorities assimilate and become part of the labor force will be studied by other parts of the country that are whiter and have­n’t been touched as much by the change.”

Racial and ethnic minorities make up slightly more than half of the residents of the Washington region, according to 2010 Census figures. The region was 55 percent white in 2000 and 64 percent white in 1990.

Not every part of the region has been affected equally.

Whites are minorities in the District and in Maryland’s Montgomery, Prince George’s and Charles counties. In Virginia, Prince William County is majority-minority.

With 55 percent of its residents white, Fairfax County could become majority-minority by the next census. So could Loudoun County, which is 62 percent white. Arlington County is one of the few places in the region where the percentage of whites is on the rise.

In most places, the demographic shift has been so rapid that even the officials tracking it have been stunned.

A report this spring by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission noted that the number of students enrolled in the area’s eight school districts grew by almost 119,000 from 1995 to 2010. The number of white students rose by barely 1,000. The rest were minorities.

“What has happened in the past 15 years in the public schools of Northern Virginia is literally mind-boggling,” the report says. “Even for a region accustomed to constant and accelerated change, the spectacularly swift transformation of the racial and ethnic profile of Northern Virginia’s school-aged population is without precedent.”

When the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments wanted to offer tips to homeowners and renters facing foreclosure, it printed brochures not only in English and Spanish but in Mandarin Chinese, Vietnamese and Amharic, a language spoken in Ethi­o­pia.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) said the growth in racial and ethnic minorities has helped transform places such as Fairfax from reliably moderate Republican domains to ones where Democrats control the Board of Supervisors and that are represented in Congress and the General Assembly by Democrats.

“You’re going to start seeing that demographic impact politically in the outer suburbs” more and more, he predicted.

The census figures offer a glimpse of the future workforce for high-paying, high-skilled jobs and for lower-paying service jobs, said Stephen Fuller, director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.

“If we fast-forward to 2020, when we’re out of the doldrums the economy is in today, we’re going to need more workers than we have residents,” he said. “I look at this flow of nonnatives, whether they’re moving here from California or right off the boat from whatever country, as an important source of workers that will enable the economy to grow. “

Fuller said that as more people approach retirement, about 60 percent of the job vacancies created will be filled people who do not live here today. Almost half the jobs will require college educations, but the rest will not. Landscapers, home health aides, waitresses, cashiers and other low-skill positions are often filled by immigrants.

“There are an enormous lot of jobs that aren’t great jobs,” he said. “I don’t know who’s going to do the jobs that have to be done unless people have to because they’re newcomers.”

Frey said the changes over the past decade have altered Washington and the way it is perceived.

“It’s not a traditional immigrant magnet,” he said. “Ten years ago, when you thought of immigrants, you’d think of L.A., New York or San Francisco. You wouldn’t think of Washington. Now it’s moved up on the pecking order.

“It’s a precursor of what’s coming in other places.”


Dr. King & The LGBT Community

Honoring the Dream (UPDATED)

Washington’s LGBT community joins in celebrating dedication of Martin Luther King Jr. memorial

by Will O’Bryan
Published on August 26, 2011, 11:13am | MetroWeekly



When the new Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is dedicated Sunday, Aug. 28, it will certainly be a national event, if not one that will draw global attention. Chuck Hicks, a longtime ally of the local LGBT community, wanted to be sure that the local component wasn’t lost.

“I realized some time ago that this is a monumental occasion,” says Hicks, founder of the HIV/AIDS service organization Bread for the Soul, and a longtime member of Whitman-Walker Health’s board back when it was still the Whitman-Walker Clinic. “We’re the nation’s capital. Even if [the dedication] is a national event, we’re the host city. I thought it important, with 300,000 people coming to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we ought to do some things as citizens of the city.”

With that in mind, he gave a call to Jerry Clark, former co-chair of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force board of directors and a D.C. resident since 1973.

“I thought it was a great idea,” Clark says of that discussion in early July. “Before I knew it, I was up to my eyeballs.”

That’s thanks to Hicks’s idea gelling as the D.C. Host Committee, in partnership with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation Inc.

“We’ve been involved in recruiting a thousand volunteers,” Clark continues. “We’ve also been involved in setting up a number or events and exhibits and such.”

Hicks emphasizes that the host community is definitely a coalition, representing a broad swath of D.C. residents. That means also having well-known clergy on the committee, such as the Rev. Walter Fauntroy and the Rev. Willie Wilson, who have at times had friction with the LGBT community. This is not one of those times, says Nick T. McCoy, local LGBT activist who serves as the host committee’s project director.

“We come across civic, social issues we may not always agree on,” says McCoy, “but when we talk about honoring Martin Luther King and the legacy he put forth, people are on the same page. It’s bigger than us. It’s about he ideals that he fought for.”

That’s certainly the theme Donna Payne, associate director of diversity at the Human Rights Campaign, says she’ll be emphasizing when she speaks Saturday morning, Aug. 27, at a midday rally organized by the National Action Network. The welcome irony, Payne notes, is that Rev. Wilson is serving as national clergy director of that event, and that he was among those reaching out to secure her participation.

“The tone will be unity in all of the movements that come together to celebrate,” she says of the speech she’s planning to give Saturday. “We’re never going away, the LGBT African-American community. This is our home. We’re black and we’re gay.”

Payne says she’ll also be attending Saturday night’s Dream Gala with a group from HRC. And the Rev. Dennis Wiley, a member of HRC’s Religion Council, will be a featured speaker at Chevrolet’s “Table of Brotherhood” event Friday, Aug. 26, with luminaries such as the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), Arianna Huffington and Ambassador Andrew Young. Wiley and his wife and co-pastor, the Rev. Christine Wiley, of D.C.’s Covenant Baptist Church, were leaders in D.C.’s fight to secure marriage equality.

Certainly, the LGBT community has been fully involved in the preparations for the dedication and related events. One high point was “Building the Dream for LGBT Equality: Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.,” held Aug. 25. Clark says he’s also hoping for a sizable LGBT contingent for a Saturday, Aug. 27, dedication-related march and rally in support of D.C. statehood – a topic dear to the group he chairs, DC for Democracy.

“I really, strongly urge participation of the LGBT community to come out on Saturday for the freedom march,” Clark says. “I’d love to see a large contingent of LGBT folks, perhaps in purple and pink, with signs supporting D.C. self-determination. Martin Luther King himself spoke in support of D.C.’s right to self-determination. Clearly, Dr. King supported the cause of full democracy for the District of Columbia.”

For Hicks, who – like Fauntroy and others on the committee – met King during the black civil rights movement, all the committee’s work is a labor of love.

“I was a teenager, but I met him a couple times,” says Hicks, 65, whose father, Robert Hicks, was also recognized in the fight for civil rights.

With the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial now a Washington reality, it’s a way for others to get a bit closer to the man who played a critical role in moving the country forward.

“Everybody can grasp this,” Hicks says. “He represents a beacon of hope and justice in the world. Everybody claims Dr. King, and that’s a wonderful thing.”

MLK Memorial Timeline

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Milestones

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial began as an idea at a fraternity’s dining room table and took 27 years of fundraising, bureaucratic wrangling and construction to become a reality. The 30-foot sculpture of the Civil Rights leader, which stands beside the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., will open to the public on Monday; a week of events will lead up to a formal dedication ceremony on Aug. 28.

Jan. 1984

Members of a Silver Spring chapter of King’s prestigious fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, conceive the idea of a memorial while meeting around a dining room table. Their proposal is presented at a meeting of the fraternity’s board of directors.

Nov. 1996

President Bill Clinton signs congressional authorization proposing creation of a memorial in Washington to honor King.

Dec. 1999


The National Capital Planning Commission approves a prime four-acre site for the memorial on the northwest shore of the Tidal Basin amid Washington’s famous cherry trees.

Sept. 2000

Roma Design Grp. of San Franciso

A design submitted by the ROMA design group, of San Francisco, is selected from nearly 1,000 entries as the best one for the memorial. It features a three-part sculpture that has evolved into the current three-piece configuration with a large, central statue of King

April 2002

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts votes in favor of the preliminary design.

Dec. 2005

The National Capital Planning Commission votes in favor of the preliminary design.

April 2006

The National Capital Planning Commission grants approval to proceed with final design phase.

Nov. 2006

Thousands, including then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), attend the ceremonial groundbreaking at the memorial’s site.

Feb. 2007

A Chinese master sculptor, Lei Yixin, is chosen to create the three-story-tall centerpiece statute of King, which has been named the “Stone of Hope.”

May 2008

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts objects that the planned sculpture is too “confrontational.”

A reworked design is approved a month later.

Aug. 2008

Preliminary site preparation begins.

Oct. 2009

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signs construction permit, allowing work to proceed.

Aug. 2010

A cargo ship bearing the memorial’s 159 granite sculpture blocks arrives in Baltimore after a 47-day voyage from China, where the stone was quarried and carved.

Nov. 2010

The most recognizable piece of the new Martin Luther King Jr. monument–the head–was placed atop the statue of the civil rights leader, in between the National Mall and the Tidal Basin on Wednesday, November 24. (AJ Chavar/The Washington Post)

A giant construction crane lowers the iconic block depicting King’s head and shoulders into place atop the Stone of Hope.

April 2011

The memorial project foundation announces that dedication has been scheduled for Aug. 28 – the 48th anniversary of the day King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington.

June 2011

Stone carver Nick Benson is carving the inscriptions into the stone of the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial under construction near the Tidal Basin. (Michael Ruane)

Rhode Island stone carver Nick Benson finishes carving King’s sayings on the memorial inscription walls.

July 2011

Officials unveil the lighting system that illuminates the memorial at night.

Aug. 2011

The White House announces that President Obama, the nation’s first African American chief executive, plans to speak at the memorial’s Aug. 28 dedication.

CREDIT: Michael E. Ruane — The Washington Post. Published Aug. 18, 2011.

Law Enforcement Needs to Get With the Times!

5 Lesbians Attacked; Police Refuse To Take Report

By Lou Chibbaro Jr. on August 5, 2011, The Washington Blade

UPDATE: Police Chief Lanier has responded to this incident and announced there could be terminations; read more here.

A man who shouted the words “dyke” and “bitches” as he and another man assaulted five lesbians outside the Columbia Heights Metro station at 3 a.m. on July 30 was released by D.C. police officers after they apprehended him on the scene, according to two of the victims.

A third man who accompanied the two attackers used his cell phone to make a video recording of the attack and continued to record the unfolding drama after the police arrived, said Yazzmen Morse, 21, who suffered a black eye and a swollen face from the assault.

According to Morse and the other victim, six or seven officers arrived on the scene in four police cars after responding to an apparent 911 call from a bystander. The two women said the officers, who are assigned to the Third District police station, refused to take a report of the incident, ignoring the women’s repeated requests to make a report.

“The police grabbed one of the attackers and restrained him,” Morse told the Blade. “Then they let him go. And then they said they didn’t want to hear our stories.”

An officer assigned to the D.C. police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit did make a report of the incident three days later, on Aug. 2. Morse said the GLLU became involved after her mother called police to complain about the refusal of the officers on the scene to report the attack.

The GLLU report lists the incident as an anti-gay hate crime.

Morse and the victim, who spoke on condition that she not be identified, said all five women are pleased with the thoroughness of GLLU Officer Joseph Morquecho, who interviewed Morse at her place of work and the other four by phone.

But the two said they are outraged that the officers on the scene refused to take a report and declined to arrest one of the two suspects. They said the second suspect fled as police arrived.

Morse and the other victim said they do not know the identities of any of the officers on the scene.

The two also said the man who recorded the incident on video with his cell phone appeared to be enjoying the spectacle and continued to record after police arrived.

“We’re all wondering if this is going to be on YouTube,” said the woman who asked not to be identified. She said the officers on the scene made no effort to stop the man from recording the incident or to take his cell phone to observe the recording as possible evidence in the case.

Although the GLLU filed the police report, Third District officers and detectives are responsible for investigating the incident since the crime took place within that district.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier released a statement on Friday saying she learned about the incident Thursday night.

“I was appalled when I heard about the incident and the conduct of the officers,” Lanier said. “Obviously, this is not the kind of service that the Metropolitan Police Department provides. I have spoken with victims in this case and I want to assure them and the public that the incident and the conduct of the officers are being investigated thoroughly,” she said.

“I have received an update on this case and I am confident that we will be making arrests,” she said.

A.J. Singletary, chair of the D.C. group Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence, said GLOV would urge police officials to investigate the conduct of the officers on the scene and take disciplinary action if the account of the incident by the victims is confirmed.

“This is just unacceptable,” he said.

Singletary said GLOV members were scheduled to meet with Lanier on Friday over the group’s ongoing concern that the GLLU wasn’t getting sufficient support from police officials, including Lanier. He said he and other GLOV members would raise the issue of the police handling of the July 30 attack on the five lesbians.

The victim, who asked that her name be withheld, said she, Morse and the other three women targeted by the two men were horrified when the man that police released began to laugh and taunt the women as he walked away.

“He walked across the street laughing,” she said. “And I will never forget his face – he was just smiling. And we are five people who are in tears and he is just laughing at us.”

The police report made by the GLLU says the incident began when the two male suspects approached the five women as they were walking along the 3100 block of 14th Street, N.W. The block is in the heart of the shopping and entertainment area of the city’s Columbia Heights neighborhood.

The report says the two suspects began to “flirt” with two of the women. It says one of the women responded by telling the men she wasn’t interested and she was with her girlfriend.

“Suspect 1 became enraged and stated, “You fucking dyke bitches, I will kick that bitch’s ass,” the report says. “I will take that dyke bitch into the alley and kick her ass,” the report quotes suspect 1 as saying.

According to the two women who spoke to the Blade, the suspect was referring to Morse, who is the girlfriend of one of the two women that the two suspects approached. Morse said she walked over to the men to find out what was going on.

The police report, which lists Morse as Complainant 1, says suspect 1 punched her in the left eye. “Complainant 1 staggered back and Suspect 1 punched C-1 twice more with a closed fist. It says that when the other women tried to assist C-1, they were hit by both suspects.

The suspects punched each of the women in the head and face, the report says.

The report describes suspect 1 as a black male between the ages of 20 and 25; 5-feet-seven inches to 5-feet-eight-inches tall, weighing between 150-160 pounds, with a dark complexion and athletic build.

It describes suspect 2 as a black male, between 20 and 25 years old, between 5-feet-eight and five-feet-nine inches tall, weighing between 150 and 160 pounds, having a medium brown complexion and medium or average build. It says suspect 2 had a mustache and both suspects wore blue pants and a white shirt.

The report lists all five victims as black females.

The victim who asked not to be identified said the officers on the scene gave no explanation for refusing to take a report. But she said some of the officers told them they were too agitated.

“They were telling us if you guys don’t calm down we’re going to lock you guys up,” the woman said. “One officer said I’m not talking to you because you guys don’t know how to act,” she said.

“And yes, we were panicking. Yes, we were crying. Yes, we were going off,” she said. “But the fact is these men had just hit us.”

The attack on the five lesbians comes less than two weeks after a D.C. transgender woman was shot to death in Northeast D.C. and one day after a second transgender woman was targeted by a suspect who fired a gun at her but missed hitting her just one block from where the first victim was killed.

GLOV joined transgender activists in criticizing police for not adequately releasing information to the LGBT community and public about the July 20 shooting near the 6100 block of Dix Street, N.E., that left transgender woman Lashai Mclean dead. Both cases remain open, with police looking into anti-transgender hatred as a possible motive.