Even though I have lived a life of some wonderful and unexpected privileges, I have spent most of my adult life as an individual separate from the grips of uniformity rather than as a part of a longstanding community or collective experience. Many people, just like me, will only go as far as what life has afforded them in their understanding of their world and thinking. The more that I am away from America and the grips of the mainstream western world with constant and evolving social discourse, the more I also realize that many people are formed by what they experience, not in spite of what they experience. People are also often guided by deep rooted fears based on what could or would happen, mostly regulated by an inner compass created, strangely enough, by the hands of distorted historical interpretation all while maneuvering into the unknown.
As right-wing governments in recent years are once again completing the circle of political power around the world, its seems that many of the fears of majority groups and conservative minds are founded in a perceived loss of their grip on majority rule and the privileges they might feel they experiences as part of a larger collective based on race, religion, gender, or caste. Why would a majority group fear an intangible shift of “power” towards minority groups? Do they think that minority groups might wish to destroy or overcome the majority’s “way of life” or take away any sort of real power? Is it simply fear of the unknown and insecurity that drives the right-wing forward to gather momentum against a progressive and liberal left? The answers do not appear straightforward, either. As a privileged individual, I find myself in fear of losing the option of air travel and vacation due to Covid-19. However, I do not find myself finding blaming the Chinese for the current state of the world, rather more concerned about the welfare of the animals in “wet markets” than their contribution in the creation of Covid-19.
I have never really been a majority race, religion, or ethnic community member (aside from my years as child in India). I do not understand what it means to be afraid of losing grip as a majority community member. Even though I do understand fear quite well, I thrive in solitude, performing best as an individual fueled by the need for interpretation and education, experience, and constant thought to challenge myself into better understanding of my world. I cannot see myself banding with people of my race, religion, ethnicity, or caste for any reason other than to quantify a census to provide information to help communities disproportionately affected by the hands of socioeconomic hardship.
I do believe that the “majority” should be driven by the ambition for betterment for all, not only for a certain group of people. Even though the world is largely in a crisis in 2020, there can still be hope and recovery from the current situation given time and planning.