The Sotomayor nomination and its “identity politics” feature bring up some considerations. What’s with this “minority” thinking? Why should belonging to a minority give one a priori status as a member of a disadvantaged group? In the case of Judge Sotomayor, there’s no real evidence that Hispanics of any stripe are even a numerical minority, except in a national sense. In Hispanic communities they are a majority, by definition. At the same time, evidence that there has been political suppression of Hispanics on a national level is scanty. Just because the Hispanics are less than 51% of the general population doesn’t make them downtrodden or deserving of special treatment from the government.
So we move on to minorities in general. It’s obvious that belonging to a minority guarantees you no special consideration, unless the numbers and influence of that minority reach a certain level, if the group becomes a “super minority”. In a heterogeneous nation of perhaps 300 million souls there are no end of minorities but most receive little attention. We seldom hear of the problems experienced by Finnish immigrants, Druids, red-heads, yo-yo enthusiasts, and garlic farmers. There aren’t enough of them to actually constitute a minority. There are vociferous exceptions, of course, like the parents of children with nut allergies, but those are anomalous. The point is, minorities don’t become important until they reach the point where they’re really only statistical minorities, until they’ve become members of the “big minority” club. In fact, there really is no majority group in the country, except, perhaps females. Everyone else belongs to a number of different minorities.