June 20, 2022
WASHINGTON – On a good day, Yale Law School professor Amy Chua, 59, is hopeful.
But most of the time, she’s a bit worried about America’s future amid its hardening divisions.
“Everyone wants to be completely separated now. So there are ethnic and racial divisions hardening,” Professor Chua, famous author of books like Battle Hymn Of The Tiger Mother 2011 and Political Tribes 2018: Group Instinct And The Fate Of Nations, told The Straits Times. Talks. on the Future – a series of videos featuring leading global thinkers.
“We have a lot of sadness and I’ve never seen my students more uptight and miserable, so that’s a bad sign,” she said.
And cosmopolitan elites are part of the problem.
A huge factor, new in its intensity, is “the division between the cosmopolitan elites…on the one hand (and) on the other, the American rural working class, the southern population, many of whom are white workers, but not entirely”.
“The difference between these two groups is now so intense that there are hardly any intermarriages between them,” she said.
“You can learn a lot about group dynamics from dating apps,” she added. “My young students say they’ll say…Trump supporters don’t need to apply.
“And… if you’re in a situation where the cosmopolitan coastal urban elites don’t interact or marry any of the rural, southern, working class whites, you start to get into a situation that’s more like an ethnic divide. ”
Another warning comes from history, in which superpowers (like the Roman Empire or the Persian Empire), as they decline, become xenophobic and intolerant, she argued. The phenomenon is explored in his 2007 book Day Of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise To Global Dominance – And Why They Fall.
Citing anti-immigration, anti-China and anti-Muslim sentiments, she described the current United States as “withdrawn, and in a very open way.”
Internally, “before, only minorities felt threatened,” added Professor Chua.
But “now you have white people who feel threatened”.
“It used to be a predominantly white country that dominated everything politically, culturally, socially and economically,” she said.
But “today…we stand on the brink of an unprecedented situation, in which white people are on the verge of losing majority status nationally for the first time in United States history.”
“There is a lot of debate about when this will happen… (and) if you look at our big cities, white people – non-Hispanic white people – are no longer in the majority in very many big cities.
“And…you might think that’s something to celebrate.” But one of the results of that is that every group in the United States now feels threatened.
- The Future Conversations series does not focus on current events, but on broader and broader long-term issues and trends. Among those interviewed are Harvard professor Graham Allison, historian Wang Gungwu, science fiction writer Chen Qiufan, and diplomats Tommy Koh and Bilahari Kausikan.