Sunday, December 4, 2016

We Are All Minorities

On a recent NPR interview, I heard an old survivor of the 1960s civil rights struggles say that we are all minorities. Since the recent election, we have heard a lot about the reassertion of dominance by the white Christian majority. But this “majority” is actually a coalition of minorities. There are many different “white” ethnic groups. White ethnicity is a fiction created by the desire of many white minorities to band together to repress people of color.

Of course it is not just the “whites” that do this. “Africans” do this also. There is no single African race. The people of north Africa, the Bantu people of west Africa, the Mbuti of the Ituri Forest, the Ethiopians and Somalis, and the San of south Africa are all different races. You will find African-Americans from all of these different racial backgrounds. “White” racism has forced all “Africans” into a coalition.

The same is true of Native Americans. Today, all of the tribes are in the same boat and act as if they are one people. You can go to any pow-wow you like across the country—and some people apparently spend their summer vacation doing this—and it is pretty much the same. The Cherokee pow-wows of my tribe in Oklahoma look and sound almost identical to the Lakota pow-wows I attended when I lived in Minnesota. My tribe, the Cherokee tribe, used to fight against the Creeks for access to hunting grounds. But the overwhelming force of “white” genocide and land-grabbing (by Americans of English, Irish, Scottish, German, etc., descent) has forced all 500 tribes into a coalition.

But there is an insight that comes from thinking of ourselves as minorities, even those of you in the “white majority.” We are all minorities and have to work together for the survival of the world. If any of you think of the Trump victory as a victory of whites, you are contributing to a mindset that endangers the future of the world.

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