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  • Writer's pictureRomain Williams

Who da f**k is the 'minority'? Challenging the Audacity of a Misguided Label

Who da Fk is the 'Minority'?


This question challenges the audacity and misrepresentation embedded in societal labels. It is a term often wielded by those in power, a convenient misnomer designed to marginalize and diminish. Yet, the stark reality is that those labelled as "minorities" are, in fact, the global majority. This piece aims to dismantle this label, calling out its inherent audacity and urging a paradigm shift in how we perceive and define global demographics. Instead, we advocate for the term "structurally excluded," a term that better captures the realities faced by these groups and acknowledges the systemic nature of their exclusion.


A Misguided Label


The term "minority" is commonly used to describe racial, ethnic, and cultural groups that are numerically smaller within a particular nation or region. However, on a global scale, these so-called minorities often constitute the majority. People of African, Asian, Latin American, and Indigenous descent collectively represent over 85% of the world’s population. Despite this overwhelming majority, these groups are often referred to as minorities within Western countries. This mislabeling reflects a deeper issue of whose identities and experiences are considered the norm and whose are excluded.

Labels are powerful. They shape perceptions, influence policies, and impact how people view themselves and others. By labelling vast swathes of humanity as minorities, we implicitly reinforce a hierarchy that places certain groups above others. This is not just a matter of semantics but a tool of systemic oppression. It diminishes the experiences, contributions, and rights of billions of people, casting them into the shadows of societal consciousness. Moreover, the psychological impact of being labelled a minority cannot be overstated. Studies have shown that such labels can affect self-esteem, identity, and mental health. When individuals are repeatedly told that they are part of a lesser group, it can lead to internalized racism and a diminished sense of self-worth. This is particularly damaging for young people who are in the formative stages of developing their identities.


Policy Implications


To fully grasp the problematic nature of the term "minority," we must delve into its historical context. The concept of minorities emerged from a Eurocentric worldview that categorized non-European peoples as "others" who were inferior or subordinate. This ideology was cemented during the colonial era when European powers dominated large swathes of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Colonizers justified their exploitation and subjugation of these regions by framing their inhabitants as lesser beings. The remnants of this colonial mindset persist today in the continued use of the term "minority," which implicitly suggests inferiority and subordination.

Federal institutions use phrases like "visible minorities," "ethnic minorities," and other similar terms to perpetuate and minoritize the global majority. This is not a benign oversight but a deliberate act to maintain power dynamics and reinforce systemic exclusion. These terms are entrenched in policies, reports, and everyday language, continually reinforcing the notion that certain groups are peripheral or inferior. Also, the term "minority"  has significant policy implications. Policies designed to address the needs of "minorities" often come from a deficit perspective, focusing on what these groups lack rather than their strengths and contributions. This can lead to paternalistic approaches that fail to address the root causes of inequality. Moreover, by framing certain groups as minorities, policymakers may overlook the broader, systemic issues that perpetuate exclusion and marginalization.


Why "Structurally Excluded"?


The term "structurally excluded" shifts the focus from mere numbers to the underlying systems of power and exclusion. It acknowledges that the marginalization of these groups is not accidental or incidental but a result of deliberate structures and policies designed to exclude. This term highlights the systemic nature of inequality and forces us to confront the root causes of exclusion rather than simply accepting it as a demographic fact.

Systemic inequality refers to the entrenched disparities that exist within societies due to historical and ongoing discrimination. These disparities are often maintained through institutions, policies, and practices that advantage certain groups over others. By using the term structurally excluded, we recognize that exclusion is built into the very fabric of our social, economic, and political systems.

Structurally excluded is a more accurate term because it highlights the active processes that create and sustain inequality. It forces us to confront the uncomfortable reality that exclusion is not a natural or inevitable state but a consequence of deliberate actions and policies. This term also shifts the focus from individual deficits to structural barriers, making it clear that the problem lies not with the people who are excluded but with the systems that exclude them.


The Audacity of Privilege


The audacity of calling the global majority "minorities" is rooted in privilege and power dynamics. It is an audacity born from centuries of colonization, exploitation, and oppression. This label is a vestige of a colonial past that sought to divide and conquer, to create hierarchies that justified subjugation and discrimination. By maintaining these labels, we perpetuate the power structures that continue to marginalize and oppress.

To challenge this audacity, we must first recognize and reclaim our global majority status. This is not about flipping the script but about restoring balance and truth. It is about acknowledging the rich, diverse multifariousness of humanity and rejecting the notion that any one group should hold the power to define others. We must demand that institutions, media, and policymakers recognize this reality and cease using terms that exclude and diminish.


Furthermore, reclaiming identity involves asserting the inherent worth and dignity of all individuals, regardless of their background. This process requires us to challenge and reject labels that diminish our humanity and to embrace terms that accurately reflect our experiences and contributions. By doing so, we can begin to build a more inclusive and equitable society.


We demand change - change that involves advocating for policies and practices that reflect the true diversity of our global population. This includes calling on institutions, media, and policymakers to stop using “minority” terms. Changing the narrative requires concerted effort and a willingness to confront uncomfortable truths. It involves education, advocacy, and solidarity. We must educate ourselves and others about the true demographics of our world, advocate for policies that reflect this reality, and stand in solidarity with all structurally excluded groups to dismantle the structures that perpetuate these harmful labels.


Conclusion


The term "minority" is a misnomer of epic proportions, an audacious label that belies the true diversity and majority status of the world's population. It is time to reject this label and embrace a more accurate and equitable view of our global community. By doing so, we honor the richness of human diversity, taking a crucial step towards dismantling the systemic inequalities that have long plagued our societies. The audacity of calling us minorities must end. We are the structurally excluded global majority, and it is time the world recognized this truth!

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