|In 2006, The Census Bureau reported that nearly one third of Americans identify as a person of "minority" heritage. While the diversity in America is plain to see, identifying the unique experience of minorities in America is much harder. Who is a minority, after all? What will "minority" mean in a future America increasingly populated by individuals like the young man who described himself as "an Amer-Asian kid who celebrates Hanukkah with his Jewish stepfather, prays to Buddha with his Buddhist Momma, and then goes to midnight Mass with his Christian father and waits for Santa Claus to come down the chimney?" Most importantly what influence do these varied ethnicities have?
In 2005 Bishop Jackson wrote "The Black Contract with America on Moral Values". At the time the book was written to help define the importance of black and white Christians coming together to make change in America for the better. Bishop Jackson illustrated how the challenges of Black America are the challenges of America as a whole. Rather then seeing these issues as exclusive to a particular group, they should be seen as flaws and problems in the overall system. His purpose was to begin the conversation on uniting blacks and whites for the betterment of America as a whole.
However, over the last five years, the word "Black" in the title has come to mean more then just African-Americans, but all minority heritage groups. With an increase in Hispanics and Asians over the last five years, the contributions of minority groups are more evident now then ever before. Currently, the nation's minority population is younger than the national average. It is thus expected both to contribute to continued economic growth and to help ensure the vitality of public welfare programs serving older Americans. In fact, demographers say this year could be the "tipping point" when the number of babies born to minorities outnumbers that of babies born to whites. As the nation’s minority population increases, so does the number of minority-owned businesses. Even as these entrepreneurs strive to serve their communities' needs, they add to the influence of minority groups on American life.
The influence of minority groups lies not only in their power to make better lives for themselves as individuals or an ethnic group; but their potential to impact the history of America. The time is now for all races to unite, to improve the quality of life and opportunity of access and resources to all minority groups in America by promoting family restoration, healthcare reform, wealth creation, educational reform, international relief, and prison reform. Today, you initiate the change that lets America know "I Count!"