By Jeff Valdez
Greetings from behind the “Tinseltown Curtain” in “Hollywould’vecould’ve should’ve.”
This morning I wandered upon an interesting article online. It was about how non-white babies have surpassed white babies in America. The writer then used a term that really caught my attention, he stated, “Latinos, Blacks and Asians are now the “majority/minority.” Silly me, and here I always thought that anything above 50% was simply referred to as a “majority,” no mas. I wondered what that term means to institutions like the NBA, where most players are black. These players make a “majority” of the points, a “majority” of the salary is given to them, and they receive a “majority” of sponsorship endorsements that helps sell a “majority” of an advertiser’s products. So does that still make them a “majority/minority?” More importantly, does that mean that the opposite holds true, that Vanilla Ice was a “minority/majority?”
Tonight at dinner, I decided to pose a question to my eleven year-old son. Kids are honest, I’ll get a straight answer from him. I queried, “Max, what do you think the words “majority/minority,” mean?” He thought for a moment, looked up from his dinner and said, “That doesn’t even make any sense, that’s like saying hot/cold or tall/short.” Like I said, kids are soooo honest. I counted my losses and left the table. I should know better than to go toe to toe with an eleven year-old.
I went back to my laptop and did more research. I found out the word “minority” was coined in 1533 to mean “The smaller in number of two parts,” that seems a reasonable definition as it is numerically based. However in 1921, a second definition of the word “minority” was added, “A group that is different racially, politically, etc, from a larger group of which it is a part.” The original 1533 definition seemed to work fine, not sure why the need for the change, like they say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Then again, 1921 wasn’t the most sensitive time in US history. Hell, women only got the right to vote a year earlier. Now I get the point behind Darwin’s evolutionary chart.
Before bed, my son approached me and asked, “Dad, I’ve been thinking about the question you asked me earlier about majority/minorities and was wondering, who are we? Are we minorities?” Wow, I had to think long and hard on how to answer this question to a kid that lives in Beverly Hills, goes to a private school and has traveled the world at eleven. I said, “Of course we are. As a matter of fact everyone, everywhere in the world, at one time or another is a “minority” But it has nothing to do with the color of their skin, ethnicity or place of origin, only numbers.
What a heavy question for a kid to ponder: “Who are we?” Then I shared with my son the wisdom of one of the most powerful spiritual gurus in the last 100 years, not Gandhi, nor Mother Teresa, au contraire, this man wore only white, with a bell bottom cut, he was a vegan, since all that he consumed was spinach. This illuminated beings name was Popeye. As a little boy, he instilled in me the power to understand my place on the planet. And if he were around today to offer his spiritual guidance on such an important matter, he would probably say, “I am not a minority, nor a majority, nor a majority/minority, I am what I am.” My son smiled and thanked me and before he left the room I said, “And by the way, if anyone ever pushes you for an answer to that question, you simply say you are a part of the “New Majority.”
About Jeff Valdez:
Jeff Valdez is a serial entrepreneur, former standup comic and creative executive. He is currently the President of Max360 Entertainment, a distribution and content company. Jeff is passionate about the demographic shift that is happening in America and how to address the multitude of opportunities in this new landscape. Past endeavors include, co-founding the groundbreaking cable channel SiTV/(NuvoTV), Chairman of QuePasa.com and co-creator/show runner of the Nickelodeon hit show “The Brothers Garcia.” He was born in Pueblo, Colorado and currently resides in Beverly Hills with his wife Ana and sons Alex and Max.
Some of Jeff’s achievements include “One of the Top 50 People Who Matter,” CNN, “The Racial Harmony Award,” Center For Ethnic Understanding, “Top 50 Minorities In Cable,” Multichannel News and was also named one of “The Top 50 Marketers in America” Advertising Age.