The Minority Myth
I've checked several times. I even word-searched both documents. But try as I might, I could not find the word "minority" anywhere in either the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
I guess it might be because the Founders decided instead to use words like "We the People" and "All men are created equal" when establishing this new and unique nation. Perhaps they were trying to get across the idea that we were not individual groups woven together, but individuals, period, and that collectively we would be known as Americans -- that's it.
Back in the old days (you know, 1776 and 1787, when the respective founding documents were being ratified), there was certainly more of a reason for a person to call himself English or French or Spanish or Dutch. Many were not even one generation removed from their homelands. But the prevailing idea was that now, in this new nation, they would be one people, the Americans, and heritage would take a back seat.
The Founders' intention to create documents building a nation of free individuals rather than a collection of small groups is solidly based in their Judeo-Christian underpinnings.
In the very first book of the Bible -- in Genesis, chapter 1 -- when God created mankind, we are told: "In the image of God he created him, male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). Note that the only difference made by God himself to distinguish these wonderful new creatures was "male and female." Not "black and white he created them"...not tall and short, rich and poor, north and south, bald and hairy.
But why would man go against God's original intent? What is there to be gained? Could it be that multiple divisions were conveniently created by man as a way to, well, divide -- and eventually conquer? Once we are broken up into smaller bites, we can more easily be eaten alive, bit by bit.
Modern-day Americans may have unwittingly fed into this destructive tact. Our "melting pot" mentality of yesteryear has been replaced with "us vs. them." We've done this by consciously or unconsciously accepting the subset labels (e.g., Italian-American, Irish-American, Hispanic-American, ad infinitum and ad nauseam).
Consider one of the newest subsets of Americans in recent years: the African-American. This hyphenate grew out of trying to find a more dignified way of describing black people (past words like "colored" or "negro" summon bitter, knee-jerk responses).
This term, however, is not very accurate because it is used to specifically describe a person's skin color. Personally, one of the few, truly African-Americans I know is white. She was born and grew up there before coming to the states. (Yes, Africa has white citizens.)
Another friend who came here from Africa corrected me when I said, "You're a real African-American." He said, "No, I'm from Nigeria." Africa is a continent, like Europe. We seem to be able to divide Europe into countries (Italy, Germany, Ireland), but not Africa.
So America is now made up of myriad groups, and individuals are expected to find their place within those groups.
I was at a symposium recently where so-called minority group members spoke about what it was like growing up in America within their subset. One person gleefully announced that in about twenty years (or less), "white people will be the minority in this country." I missed my opportunity to stand up and declare that I will never be a minority because there is no one else like me on the planet, let alone in America. Both God and Founding Fathers have established that I am a majority of one and "created equal" -- i.e., neither minor nor "major" to any other individual.
But why did the phrase "minority" gain such acceptance? Well, perhaps if someone can be considered minor to someone else, then he needs help to rise up. And who better to help him then a "major," an advanced, enlightened individual or group of individuals -- i.e., the elite among us?
Could it be that the elite's endgame is to string together enough people who are told that they are or their group is a "minority," whereupon the elite can keep their powerful "majority" status?
Will any of this change any time soon? It could, with the change of individual thinking -- and perhaps with a change of leadership. What if a uniter became our next president, for instance? Someone who saw him- or herself as an American and not a member of any particular group -- not elitist nor victim nor anywhere in between?
Once we can get beyond "minority think," as individuals and as a nation, we might be able to get back to the original intent of both God and country: each person is a majority of one.