Trent Lott has regained a position of leadership. He was the former majority leader who lost his post for racially insensitive commentary. I believe he mentioned that Strom Thurmond in 1948, who ran as a segregationist candidate, should have won. ... But now, sound the irony alarm. He has recaptured a position and his position -- I kid you not -- in the Senate will be minority whip. So, my guess is he takes to that job like, let's say, white on rice.
Canadians tend to be a bit more religious than most Europeans - though not more than the Poles or Ukrainians. Most important, their attitude to immigration and ethnic minorities is more positive than that of most Europeans.
Democracy, or "majority rules," is another trick of our society to force us to do things we don't want to do. Even if we actually lived in a pure democracy (and the system we do live in is not even close), where everyone got a single vote on every subject, forcing the minority to obey the majority is no different to one man, if he had the power, forcing everyone else to do what he wanted them to-simply because he could.
It is bad to be oppressed by a minority, but it is worse to be oppressed by a majority. For there is a reserve of latent power in the masses which, if it is called into play, the minority can seldom resist. But from the absolute will of an entire people there is no appeal, no redemption, no refuge but treason.
In our native terms, the ironic style is often compounded with the sardonic and the hard-boiled; even the effortlessly superior. But irony originates in the glance and the shrug of the loser, the outsider, the despised minority. It is a nuance that comes most effortlessly to the oppressed.
Friends have asked how I came to engender this American antagonism. My prodigious sin was, and still is, being a non-conformist. Although I am not a Communist I refused to fall in line by hating them. Secondly, I was opposed to the Committee on Un-American Activities — a dishonest phrase to begin with, elastic enough to wrap around the throat and strangle the voice of any American citizen whose honest opinion is a minority of one.
A lot of native culture has been destroyed. So you already feel lost inside your culture. And then you add up feeling lost and insignificant inside the larger culture. So you end up feeling lost squared. And to never be recognized, to never have any power, you know, other minority communities actually have a lot of economic, cultural power.
It's a legitimate point to debate. But it's part of the reality. It's happening, but it's also true they (looters) are in the distinct minority. I think there's a hero on every street corner in New Orleans, and I think the reporting has shown that. I think the balance has been there.
The glory of this land has been its capacity for transcending the moral evils of our past. For example, the long struggle of minority citizens for equal rights, once a source of disunity and civil war, is now a point of pride for all Americans. We must never go back. There is no room for racism, anti-Semitism, or other forms of ethnic and racial hatred in this country.
Looking out at that crowd, I imagined those who had not yet arrived, minority students who, in years to come, would make this multitude of faces, the view from where I now stood, a little more various. If they could have heard me, I would have confided in them: As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls.