Do democracies need minorities?
I suggest strongly that they do. Why? We’ve only to look at one very grim statistic from the election just past to know why. An alarmingly ‘healthy’ majority of my ‘fellow’ (shudder!) palefaces voted to say that children in cages, babies being ripped from their mamas’ very breasts, unarmed people of color being mowed down by uniformed thugs with only different uniforms from the SS and Gestapo, God only knows (I confess to not wanting to know) what other enormities crying out to God for vengeance, right along with inequality of wealth and income which have us lurching toward a downright feudal economy — were quite all right with them and that they wanted more of them!!
This past election saved our democracy from being extinguished, no thanks whatsoever to the majority of my ‘fellow’ palefaces! And the minority of palefaces to which I belong could never have saved our democracy alone. We could only do this together with our fellow citizens of color: African-Americans, Latinos, Asians of every national origin from Israel (yes, including Ashkenazim) to Korea and our Native brethren as well. If that doesn’t convince you that democracies need minorities in order to stay democracies, I don’t know what will.
Our homegrown fascists profess that being multi-racial and multi-ethnic are drawbacks and weaknesses for nations. I say no, it is the other way around. To be multi-racial, -ethnic and -religious as well are strengths, not weaknesses!
Let me ask any French, Dutch, German, Italian or Spaniard within their political mainstreams: with minorities, is it less or more likely that these countries will remain liberal democracies and, indeed, be strengthened in that? Wasn’t it between the wars, with a relatively ‘pure’ population, that fascism became dangerous? Why does it seem that Canada and New Zealand seem to be immune from the insanity that has gripped us, England (not so much the UK as a whole) and Australia? Could being bi-lingual and at least bi-cultural have something to do with that? I’ll venture it hath quite a lot to do with those countries’ comparative (to the rest of the Anglophone world) sanity!
And, conversely, it is those nations which are mistakenly proud of being monocultural where democracy has all but gurgled down the toilet. Poland and Hungary, I’m looking straight at you! And at most Arab/Muslim nations as well! And look how both Russia and China now treat their minorities! Anyone ready to say ‘Uighurs’?
It seems that in most countries with large racial/ethnic/religious majorities where minorities have little or no…