Those who consider themselves to be minorities in the United States are usually those of Hispanic, Black or Asian ethnicities. The word minority usually refers to the smaller number or the number that is less than half of the whole. Yet, if you take a close look at the world around you, the people who are usually identified with the word minority are continuously growing in size.
According to the projections for the United States Census Bureau, minorities, now 37% of U.S. population is projected to make up 57% of the population in 2060. Therefore the total minority population would more than double, from 116.2 million to 241.3 million over the next 50 years. In 2043, for the first time in American history, no one ethnic group will make up what we consider “the majority.”
With that information being said, is it still right to even call ourselves minorities? Yes, the projections for these changes won’t really go into great effect for another 30 years but at the same time we as a people are not giving ourselves enough credit. Often I’ve found when I’ve been associated with being a minority, it comes with the feeling of automatically being thought of as less of a person because of my ethnicty. A lot of us feel this way whether we’d like to admit it or not.
One major reason we are still called minorities is because that is what we call ourselves. We make it acceptable for other “majority” ethnicities to throw us into a weak category just because we make up less of the population than they do. There are small ethnic groups in other countries starting rebellions for their right to be treated as equals. This isn’t to say that we should rebel against our government to get a message across that the term minority can be demeaning but instead, we should stop using the term altogether. In order to prove to America that we are more than our ethnicity, we need to prove that we are, and in order to do that, you must start to behave as if you were the majority.
In order for the minorities of the country to stick together and abolish the word that categorizes us into an unjustified place, we have to start small. There are many clubs on campus dedicated solely to different types of ethnicities, all of which fall under the regretful term, minority. As far as I can tell, there are no clubs on this campus dedicated to anyone of the non-Hispanic white group, also known as the “majority.” The reason these groups of people are considered the “majority” is because we allow them to believe so. With the help of these clubs, we allow ourselves to be caste below them because we are further emphasizing the fact that we are okay with being “minorities.” In order for these clubs to stop putting themselves under this category we need to make it so that we integrate a whole mix of ethnicities rather than make them feel excluded.
To clear any misunderstandings, I am not saying that once you get rid of the term minority, you are shedding your ethnicity. If anything, you should be proud of where you come from. Be proud enough to wipe away the undermining term and prove to those of the current majority that you are more than where you come from. Where you are from may make up a large part of what you are but it is not who you are.
Contributed by: Marlena Montero