What does the word “minority” mean? Why do we call ourselves “minorities?” And why do Latinos and Asians also do the same? Minority means “less than 50%.” Majority means “more than 50%.” If whites are but 20% of the world’s population, how then can Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans be seen as “the minorities?”

You say that’s because in America whites are more than half the population? That may be so, but in New York City, for example, they are only 30% of the citizenry. No, you counter, that is in NYC, but in the country, as a whole, whites predominate, and the term refers to the entire nation.

Says who? The word “minority” is used without any references. The full term is “member of a minority group,” but it is usually shortened to “minority.” Never is it expanded to “member of a minority group in the United States.” So why should I view myself as a “minority” when Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans are 70% of my city and 80% of the world? Why would I choose to diminish myself by referring to myself or to my race as a “minority?” And for that matter, why do you?

What’s that? You say that “minority” is not a numerical, but a political, term? You say Blacks are a minority because we lack political power? But which came first, the chicken or the egg? Do we lack power because we see ourselves as a weak, powerless “minority?” And do whites have disproportionate power because they see themselves, falsely, as the majority and thus powerful and in control, projecting that power and that control into the minds of others who then automatically assume second class status? Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History Month, famously said,

When you control a man’s thinking, you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his “proper place” and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary! 

“Non-white” is another nonsense word. Why is the term “non-white” always used while the term “non-black” is never even uttered? Because white is somehow seen as the standard, when, in fact, there is no standard group to which all others must be compared. We are all of us equal to each other. Furthermore, if white is “the absence of color” then “non-white” literally means “the absence of the absence of color” which is a double negative, which is a violation of the rules of grammar.

Imagine what goes through the minds of our young children. They enter school bright and eager and ready to learn, to soak up everything and anything that is presented to them. Over time they are led to believe, that is brainwashed, to think that they are “a member of a disadvantaged, non-white minority group.” What do you think that does to their psyche, to their self-esteem? Look around you and see!

It is truly amazing how, after all of this is explained to them, many people will say that they agree, that they have seen the light. Still, though, the very next day they go back to calling themselves, and therefore seeing themselves as, minorities. Perhaps they will say “quote unquote minorities” or put up quote signs with their fingers before uttering the ego shattering syllables, but say it, and write it, they will.

Watch yourself and see if you still employ the brainwashing, self-defeating term. Only you can save you. “None but ourselves can free our minds!” said Bob Marley. You are not a minority. You are not “non” anything. You are a perfectly equipped human being. Everything is right inside and outside of you. Your skin is good. Your hair is excellent. You have unlimited potential. Nothing can stop you but you. Let yourself go to the very heights. Remember Marcus Garvey’s words,

Up! You mighty race, you can accomplish what you will…God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be. .. Let the sky and God be our limit and Eternity our measurement!”

by Arthur Lewin, author of Africa Is Not A Country: It’s A Continent, www.AfricaUnlimited.com