I have been observing a very strange shift in the use of the work minority. I believe that formerly it referred to small groups of ethnics, who maintained only a small hold on recognition. The term ethnic minority was a simple way of describing Jews, Asians, Hispanics and African Americans.

As we opened our doors to more immigrants in the 1980’s, we ascribed the term to Dominicans, Haitians, Eastern Europeans, Africans, and other ethnic or racial groups.  There may still be a place in our vocabulary to refer to this kind of minority. However, the word has always been a code word for discrimination against this or that minority group. That is no longer the total picture today.

I read with interest about the wealthiest Americans referring to themselves as a put upon minority. The feel that they are being discriminated against because of their wealth. Listen to Donald Trump sometime and you will hear this canto. Spokespersons for this group are fearful that something untoward will happen to the Koch Brothers, the Walton family, Sheldon Adelson and others.

According to these billionaires, the mainstream media is constantly attacking them. Government is looking for way to denude them of their self-made fortunes. Insidious left wing organizations are trying to destroy their businesses. There is nothing that these misguided people will do to corrupt our capitalist system.

Corporations have also gotten into the minority business. Their savior was the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case. If it weren’t for the fact that corporations were declared “persons,” they would be under the thumb of the socialist regime in Washington and their socialist running dogs. The anti-corporation people like Michael Moore, Al Gore and now Pope Francis, have no understanding that large corporations are the backbone of our country. Who would create jobs, if not them?

They bristle at the term, “Crony Capitalism,” or “Robber Barons.” Now that they have achieved personhood, they may now join the ranks of oppressed minorities on the rostrum. Things have certainly changed.

Women are also viewed as a minority. The emergence of feminism classified them as those who do not have the same rights as men. There could be a good case made for saying those kinds of things. After all, women have only had the right to vote since 1920 and that was a struggle. However to classify them as a minority, when they are the majority gender is kind of sideways.

Religious groups are now labeling themselves as oppressed minorities. They are discriminated against in all the walks of life. They are even tortured in the military and looked down upon. Their heroes are given short shrift by the media and they are not given the rights that the constitution affords them. Looking at some of the religious channels, one might think that they also are a minority, when in fact, they are a very large plurality, or even, if one includes all Christians, a majority in this country.

So it is now fashionable to label ones group a minority. Further, one must then claim that your minority is oppressed. Your rights are being infringed upon and the “Government” is out to get you. I am in a quandary now. If I claim that I am a minority, which I think I am, do I then claim that I am oppressed in the United States? Let me ponder that for a while.


One thought on “THE NEW MINORITIES

  1. On being in an oppressed minority (of one).

    Arnold: nice thought piece. What you observe is the growing use of rhetoric, or use of persuasive definitions as philosophers describe such things, in daily discourse.

    Representatives/spokespersons for the super wealthy, who can afford such talking heads, are simply using forms of advocacy or persuasive language to maintain their [favored] position. In our age of political correctness, they are just piggybacking on our sense of sympathy for the “aggrieved” minorities. This is timeless, of course, , and entirely consistent with a selfish human nature of the super wealthy (and others, too), the ubiquity and ease of mass communication, and a Judeo-Christian sympathy for those who are less fortunate in life (sometimes through their own foolish choices).

    Maybe such rhetoric by the super wealthy is being encouraged by the President who thinks that worrying out loud before midterm elections about the “inequality problem” is a way to win back the US House. I do wonder if the President really believes that taking a “just” percentage (say 75%) of the income and wealth of the top 1% in the US will be enough to redistribute to everybody else so there no longer will be an “inequality problem.” Even if the numbers would support such policies, I rather doubt the super wealthy would stick around to have their income and wealth so appropriated.

    The “solution” is to make sure that folks are more productive so they can earn more, and that takes one necessarily back to your life’s work, making sure that education is available, accessible, and effective.

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