Judge Greg Mathis, BlackAmericaWeb.com, August 17, 2006
In America, Blacks, Latinos, Asians — basically, any non-white ethnic group — are classified as minorities, and not simply because of their numbers — though that plays a part — but also because they often lack economic and political power. That can soon change.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanic and Asian populations will triple over the next 50 years, while blacks will contribute an additional 30 million people to the overall U.S. population. If these predictions come to pass, people of color will be the majority. This can lead to increased political and economic power if we play our cards right.
Across this country, various ethnic groups are falling victim to political manipulation and fighting with each other for the few crumbs that are tossed their way. If all of these ethnic groups banned together, we’d see a huge difference in the way resources were distributed across this country — children of color would have access to a good education, prisons would not be overrun with black and Latino men, and urban areas would not be so impoverished. Instead, the powers that be have us all convinced that Latinos are a threat to our very existence, that Asians are using poor people to grow rich — the list of stereotypes and lies goes on and on. This type of divide-and-conquer maneuvering has served to repress people across the globe for generations. It is time that we break free from it. Fighting amongst minorities only solidifies the elite’s power.
Unity amongst people of color could dramatically change the course of America and buck that status quo. In Chicago, a unified black and Latino base elected the city’s first black mayor in the 1980s. More recently, Antonio Villaraigosa rode a similar wave of unity when he became Los Angeles’ first Hispanic mayor. Without the collective power of the two ethnic groups, neither men would have been elected and their progressive ideas would not have helped moved those cities forward.
People of color don’t have to wait until 2050, the year our numbers are expected to eclipse those of whites, to come together. We can begin that work now. It’s time we stop looking at our differences and time to begin noticing what we have in common — concern for our children, our communities and our futures.