Everything Language and Grammar

Definition: Minority

Posted by languageandgrammar on January 15, 2010

I just want to get something straight since this sometimes seems to get confused:  The word minority, as it applies to a population of people, means “a smaller party or group opposed to a majority, as in voting or other action.”

Minority Doesn’t Mean Inferior

In other words, the word minority is not synonymous with inferior. Minorities do not deserve equal treatment because the majority decides out of the kindness of their gracious hearts that these inferior people may now have what the majority has.

They should be granted the same rights as the rest of us because they’re the same as the rest of us; there are just fewer of them.  Sadly, it’s more difficult for minorities to gain access to the same rights since they have less political and social influence–because of their number, not because of something inherently inferior about them.

Rush Limbaugh

That brings me to Rush Limbaugh’s quote about how President Obama wants to use Haiti to “burnish his credentials with minorities in this country and around the world, and to accuse Republicans of having no compassion.”

Most Americans, thank goodness, want to help the people of Haiti because they see people who need help. Rush sees a minority–apparently a minority who may or may not deserve our help. If we want to help them, it’s because we want to score political points with other minorities.

I’d love it if Rush Limbaugh went to Haiti to do his show on one condition–as long as he is treated the way he thinks a minority should be treated. He’d be a minority there–at least 90% of the population of Haiti is of African descent.

He probably thinks that the country is full of minorities, which doesn’t seem possible–unless his definition includes more than a reference to a relative number.

–Paul

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