Nov 19, 2019
by Darryl Wellington
I once had a friend who objected to Black Americans calling themselves “a minority” because he believed the words played on our minds in a way that led us to believe Blacks were statistically outnumbered the whole world over. “People of color are the majority of the global population,” he used to say. He was correct.
“MINORITY” is a statistical/demographic term. It’s used in the United States to refer to Hispanics, and Blacks and other ethnic/racial groups, given that there are presently several million fewer nonwhites than whites in the United States.
Hispanics make up over 17% of the US population. Black Americans (including multi-racial Blacks) make up 14.6% of the US population. White Americans make up just above 62% of the US population. But does the word “MINORITY” connote more than solely population demographics?
Given the history of slavery, segregation, and economic disenfranchisement, the darker skinned minorities (Blacks, Hispanics and Native Americans) have substantially less accumulated wealth than the average White. It’s called the RACIAL GAP WEALTH. A typical White household has 16 times the wealth of a Black household.
To a certain extent “MINORITY” becomes synonymous with disenfranchised people of color who suffer from the consequences of poverty, criminalization, and voting disenfranchisement.
Yet the population statistics in the United States have been drastically changing. It’s estimated that within about twenty five years, Whites will drop to less than 50% of the US population. Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians will become the representative Americans. This change is predicted to bring massive transformation to US culture, psychology, and politics, reasserting the need to bring economic equity and social justice to people of color.
The psychological dynamics behind the demographic shift in the USA underscore my friend’s global perspective. WHITES have NEVER been the majority of the world/global population (or even close to it). There are 7 billion people in the world. It’s estimated that WHITES make up only 16% of the world population. This gets complicated because of various definitions of the concept of ”race” but let’s stick to the standards historically used to define race in Europe and the United States. ASIANS make up 60% of the world population. PEOPLE OF AFRICAN DESCENT make up easily over a billion of the world population. The numbers of “whites” (white Caucasians) cannot compare.
America is changing. WHITE will no longer stand for a “representative American.” And globally speaking – Whites have been and are the global MINORITY.