For example, Meghan Markle — American actress and new member of the British royal family — has a white father and black mother, so she identifies as someone from both races. Under the older, exclusive definition of race — resembling the historical “one-drop” rule — Markle and her children can never be classified as white. Same goes for the offspring of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and former Florida Republican governor Jeb Bush.
Under a more expansive definition that counts as white anyone who so identifies (even if they also identify with another race or ethnicity), the white population is not declining; it’s flourishing. The Census Bureau’s inclusive projections show a white population in excess of 70 percent of the total for the foreseeable future.
How, then, do whites of both parties feel about these different stories of the future? A recent study that we co-authored shows that more inclusive definitions for whiteness could significantly diminish anxiety among white Americans about displacement.