This post originally appeared on QuietMike.org, republished by permission of the author
Minorities in North America have struggled to have their voices heard since Europeans first landed here. No matter what color you are, what language you speak or what faith you subscribe to, if you aren’t a white English Christian, chances are your collective voice has fallen on deaf ears in the past, even the present.
It’s not a surprise really, we all live in a democratic society where majority rules. Back in the day, as it pertains to social issues, the only way minorities could have their voices heard was to convince part of the majority to see things their way. That’s how Americans ended slavery, passed the civil rights act and so on.
In the information age this simple formula still holds true for the most part. Gay rights is a good modern example, many straight people have taken up the fight with the LGBT community and the movement has advanced quickly. People should always have the right to be heard, especially when it comes to discrimination.
When it comes to social/political groups however, there is an unacceptable amount of people out there speaking for the minority who not only have a voice, but are speaking louder than a huge majority of us. This shouldn’t be acceptable in a democratic society.
Look at One Million Moms. They are a conservative group created by the American Family Association in order to protest what they consider immorality in our entertainment. You may remember them for their crusade against JC Penny for hiring lesbian Ellen DeGeneres as their commercial spokesperson.
Well, One Million Moms made the national news again, this time for needlessly going after Geico for promoting bestiality. For some reason, when this group speaks they get heard and not just by the media. One Million Moms do not have a million members. They have about 5000 likes on Facebook and 2200 followers on Twitter. They are best described as an army of imaginary Michelle Bachmann clones. Either way, out of the tens of millions of mothers out there, why are people listening to just a few thousand?
How about the NRA? The National Rifle Association has about four or five million members in a country with over three hundred million people. Fifty million American households keep firearms and yet only 10% of them subscribe to the NRA. Why are politicians so afraid of these guys?
Wayne Lapierre is allowed on every single network to speak his piece while Washington lawmakers go to bat for him at every turn. The NRA speaks so loud that even a bill for universal background checks is likely to fail, even though 90% of Americans support it, including gun owners.
Let’s not forget the mother of all minority groups; the 1%. This tiny minority of wealthy Americans run the entire country, mostly through their corporations. They create our laws with the help of organizations such as ALEC. They control our media, the internet and our politicians who are just as afraid of them as the NRA.
There are other groups in the minority, political or otherwise, that deserve mention such as the Tea Party, The Westboro Baptist Church and the Catholic League. Like I said, everyone who has an opinion deserves a voice, but when the voices of the few are spoken decibels louder than the many, it exposes a fundamental flaw in our democracy.
You might be wondering why I started this article off speaking about minorities in terms of race. Well, what do all these aforementioned minority groups have in common? They are made up in large part by wealthy white Christians; the country’s largest, yet increasingly decaying demographic. Let’s not pretend that being white no longer grants you the greater voice regardless of your views.
Another reason many of these groups get heard louder is simple; the media covers them nonstop. The mainstream media’s transition from actual news to sensationalist infotainment has given greater voices to the Fred Phelps, the Wayne Lapierres and the Tea Baggers of the world. Don’t forget that the media itself is owned by the 1%, the wealthy minority.
In order to quieten these groups who don’t speak for most of us, we must all start to speak ourselves. When One Million Moms try to censor something, we must come to their target’s defense. When our politicians are too cowardly to even bring a bill we all support to a vote, we need to speak up louder.
There is no legitimate reason why we should allow minority rule to carry on as it has, there’s more of us than there are of them.