This Weekend on January 15th, MLK day graces us again with its presence. For many it is simply a day off, an extra long weekend to relax. Perhaps remembering the Great Civil Rights Leader will cross your mind once or twice as you take a well deserved break. But we as a nation should look back on this day and understand what it stands for. Remembrance of a time when large segments of our Population were not treated equally, when those who did not reflect the outside appearance of what “America” was were Marginalized. MLK day is a time for reflection of a period in our not too distant past where we saw the rights of the few trampled and withheld by the many. Something that should never be repeated again. However we should not be in the idea that this is an isolated occurrence. Throughout history Empires and large states have mistreated and marginalized those that are considered lesser, mostly those of lesser numbers. Today we call the term for these people Minorities. And Empires are not well known for universally caring for minorities.
One of the Most Famous men of the 20th century was leader of the Soviet Union Joseph Stalin. A Tyrannical Dictator, and Emperor of the Largest Nation of the World in all but name, he was considered to his peers and subjects at the time a National Hero. But there were, as we see today, skeletons in Stalin’s closet, Graveyards even. Throughout the period of his reign Joseph Stalin was guilty of Many, many crimes against his own people. Famously his cruelty in Modernizing Russia’s industry by means of collectivizing all grain in the Nation, leading to many deaths. But there may have been more sinister reasons for this action. The Holodomor, as it is remembered today in the name given to the death by starvation of Millions of Ukrainians as a result of Stalinist Policy. an unfortunate incident to be sure, but one that could be avoided. Throughout the Holdomor and in subsequent years it became clear that collectivization hit areas populated by Ukrainians the hardest, showing a way of suppressing populations. such methods were also used on the Muslim Tatars and other Volga Peoples and the Kazakhs of the Steppes. It is no surprise that these areas were then resettled by the Majority Russians of the land.
A less talked about and perhaps even more sinister method of Minority control was the Deportations that occurred both during and after WW2. under the Stalinist Regime many peoples had been removed from their homes, many of which they had lived for millennia, and deported almost overnight. some of the Most famous examples include the plight of the Crimean Tatars, the Volga Germans and Various peoples of the Caucasus. Both the Crimean Tatars and Peoples of the Caucasus were accused of fraternizing with the Germans to disrupt and overthrow the Soviet union, and the Volga Germans were deported because of their ethnicity. Of the crimes they were convicted their is no evidence that the Crimean Tatars helped the Nazis on a large scale, and the crimes of the Caucasus people was rather the fault of Chechen Separatists. Deportations of entire populations was not a new concept in Russia however. During the long reign of the Russian Empire various indiginous peoples of newly conquered lands, like the Muslim Peoples of the Caucasus and the Volga were often given the choice to be resettled or shipped to the Ottoman Empire, such was the case for the Circassians in the Circassian Genocide, an act of ethnic cleansing. In Such ways do the Majority maintain their hold on Power. Much like during the Holodomor, in all these instances of Deportation Russians were brought inn to fill these now empty lands while their previous occupiers were sent to inhospitable areas of Central Asia and Siberia. In such ways were the powers and rights of the Majority upheld at the expense of the lesser.
Deportations and genocides aside their are their methods by which the ruling ethnic group of Empire ensures superiority. In America before the advents of Modern Civil rights, the ruling Ethnic Groups turned to various means to keep the minority down. Whether by means of quotas to ensure no Southern and Eastern Europeans out bred the White Northern or Western European, or the threat of Irish and German Catholics immigrants being met by race riots and violence perpetrated by groups like the KKK and Know nothing Party to preserve the Glories of the White Anglo-Saxon Dutch Protestant Races, or suppressing the German Language, the Second most . Or even by means of implementing clearly racist and repressive Jim Crow Laws to commit segregation, systemic suppression, and racial violence to ensure that the Superiority of the “Whites” is kept. By these means are the Majority kept in power.We see that the Majority is not always a solid concept, it is flexible, accommodating the need for superiority of the time. But the ideals of the Majority maintain a clear ideal. That the minority must be fought against, and kept down.