The term “Minority”; Not For Teachers Only.

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( The terms “minority” and “non-white,” used in reference to Blacks, Latinos are Asians are incorrect and inaccurate. How can there be a term like “non-white,” when the term “non-Black” is never heard, unless, that is, “white” is the standard, which is the assumption when the term “non-white” is employed.

As for “minority,” it is shorthand for “member of a minority group.” And the term “minority,” which means less than the majority, is negative and implies inferiority. Yes, “minority,” despite its negative connotations, is, in fact, less than the majority. However, the “white” population of the world is twenty something percent. And in many cities where Blacks and Latinos live, like New York, whites are far less than 50% and most people are Black or Latino. Hence, when we read that “the police in New York have a problem with the minority communities,” the sentence should instead read, “the police in New York are terrorizing the majority of the citizens, the very people who pay their salaries.”

One may argue that since whites are around 60% of the US population, to refer to Blacks and Latinos as “minorities” is correct. However, whenever the term is used it is not specified as referring to the city, the nation or the world. It is just thrown out as a catch-all term, and it is negative, derogatory and disempowering.

Turning to Geography, Europe is characterized as a continent. However, a continent is a large body of land surrounded by water or completely surrounded by water. Armies and trade caravans have down through history travelled from Asia to Europe and vice versa without crossing water. If anything, Europe is a large peninsula on the Asian continent, like the Indian subcontinent. But “subcontinent” has a negative connotation, and is scrupulously avoided in referring to Europe. To say that there is something called a “Eurasian landmass,” is incomprehensible. What is a “landmass?” It has yet to be defined.

Also, look at virtually every map employed in US schools and you will notice that the equator, which divides the earth into two equal parts, is not in the middle. This is because the Northern hemisphere is artificially expanded and the Southern hemisphere is artificially condensed. Do not take my word for it, look at the map. Very few teachers, even those with advanced degrees, are aware of this very basic fact.

Also note, the map is always displayed with the North on top. There is nothing wrong with this. But it is merely a convention that establishes a standard orientation for reference and comparison. However, it must be clearly understood that to display a map with the Southern portion on the top is also correct. There is no direction in space. Hence, it is just as accurate to show the South on top as the North. Even highly educated people have a very hard time grasping this, so great is the implicit bias taught to all of us.

Finally, here is one pointer that everyone with a child, not yet an expert reader, should keep in mind. Whenever the child is in front of the TV be sure to press the “closed captioning” button so that the words spoken on screen are always displayed. The child will thus automatically, as if by osmosis, learn how to read while watching television. I heartily welcome comments or questions about anything herein or on related issues. Thank you.

Staff Writer; Arthur Lewin

This talented author has just published a NEW book which is entitled; AFRICA is not A COUNTRY!.

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