If you read my blog, you’ll get the distinct impression (I hope) that I am a bit right wing. On the other hand, I am a bit left wing. Really I have both wings. The topic I am about to discuss, more beautifully perhaps than others, perfectly blends what is good of both ends of the political spectrum.
In February of last year (2009) The Atlantic published an article about the end of the white majority of the US. The idea stuck with me, and has popped up a few other places, in conversation, the memory, the radio, etc.
Today, as I contemplated the founding fathers and the circumstances out of which came the US constitution, I realized that although we would have called the founders all “dead white men” among themselves, they would have thought of a mixing bowl of minorities.
Countless religions and numerable roots of national decent created a tapestry of minorities in the original colonies. These differences in people were written on the dress, facial features, and accent of people as clearly as African, ‘white’, and latino attributes mark people today. The first amendment visibly illustrates the popular consciousness of each group wanting to protect itself from being bullied.
Less visibly, but perhaps even more importantly, Alexander Hamilton’s argument for Federalism in Federalist Paper No. 6 illustrates that the expected bullies were not majorities, but a minority or a team of minorities in government. In the famous document, (published in what was the equivalent of a full page in the New York Times) Hamilton describes how through Federalism (as opposed to parliamentary or ‘proportional’ voting) protected all minorities against oppression. It was this Federalist paper in particular (along with a handful of others) has stood the test of time, and also rang true to his countrymen at that time.
The amalgamation of white people into one distinct ‘race’ is an historical aberration that emerged after the civil war. White hegemony is an aberration that is now thankfully coming to an end. Hopefully a bit of the spirit of Federalist paper No. 6 will return with its passing.