This post is also available in: Magyar (Hungarian)
In this rushed world, we have very little time for ourselves and our thoughts. I remember our life before social media when we often found ourselves in the middle of boring moments. These times offered us a chance to give our heads for a little reflection. Today, when we get close to a similar situation and boredom finds us, we often take out our phone and look for content to watch or listen to. One of the biggest challenges of our time is how to cope with the amount of information that the development of technology has brought. We will be its passive subject or we will give it a try by giving ourselves time and let the knowledge delivered by the accelerated flow of information settle down. Due to lack of capacity and resources, I am not always able to dive into longer series of thoughts either, but in this sequence starting at Ame Panzh’s blog, focusing on information processing, I would share a few short lines of my few-minute thoughts, with the hope that these might encourage its readers to chew on it and think it further. I would like to involve our non-Hungarian-speaking friends in common thinking, so these short writings will also be available in English.
I find it ridiculous and pathetic when some white people express their fear of becoming minority in their own home country. This usually comes up on the 1st of January in Hungary, when these people with extreme excitement are awaiting the birth of the first baby of the year so that they can state the baby’s ethnicity. If they are unable to do so based on the available information, they do not hesitate to grab a phone and obtain sensitive data from the hospital. Once they have ascertained the newborn’s Roma origin, they consider it as a symbolic sign of demographic danger and threat and they incite hatred, spread their fear, and try to pass it on to others
You know what? I’m not gonna lie! Sometimes I honestly wish for this sweet daydreaming to be at least half realistic, hence these people would finally feel the consequences of systemic racism on their own skin. Could you imagine a white, Caucasian male, the most privileged creature on this patriarchal planet, to become a minority?… I am not an expert of demography, but the likelihood of this so-called “demographic catastrophe” is not realistic, as if we look at the mortality rate of Roma people, we can see that it’s higher than the majority of society, saying that Roma die on average 10-15 years earlier.
Where does this unfounded fear come from?
The members of the majority society, especially white males are not aware of and cannot sense their privilege and dominance until someone does not point that out for them. They see and experience life in a very different way living through a totally unlike reality than the members of any ethnic or national minority groups.
There can be various reasons behind white people fearing not being majority anymore:
- fear of losing their social status and power relations
- failure of maintaining the status quo and the system which was built in favor and comfort of white people
- fear of the failure and downfall of white dominance and supremacy, sensing the threat of their existence or more precisely the ceasing of their existence
- fearing of the dice to turn around – knowing about their prejudices and racist behavior towards minorities and other nationalities/ethnicities; or consciously knowing about systemic racism (but publicly denying its existence) and fearing that the same unequal treatment would happen to them if they become the minority.
This fear is driven by psychological forces. Although we do not give high importance to psychology, it still makes up a significantly big part of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Additionally, the members of majority society that are fearing to become minority are mainly coming from white supremacists, extreme far-right groups, mostly males with bad relationships with their father, inferiority complex or seeking power and the sense of belonging. Little hint to the sociologists – it would be very interesting to conduct a research about the above-mentioned men and their drive to join similar groups.
Would this feeling of threat change the current behavior, prejudices and racist attitudes of these people fearing to lose their majority status? It’s unrealistic.
Does this feeling assist them to incite hatred, spread their fears as a threat, thereby influencing politics? Yes.
Jane Elliot blue-eyes, brown-eyes antiracist exercise on Oprah show: