Hi there, SenorBeef!
My answer might be quite long.
Why does the majority protect the minority, and by what mechanism?
Personally I think it should, because if it does not, there would be a total anarchy after each election. I mean they could just wipe out those who lost the election: every official that works for the country, but have the “wrong” party-book could be kicked out.
- Secondly I do not like the thought that the majority could harass the minorities that speaks another language, has another colour of skin, religion etc.
Anyhow, these rights are written in most countries constitution. And that is right.
But, I have seen no constitution that simply says that “the
minorities should be protected by the state”. That would be something!
If I take one example I know very well. First some facts:
- In Sweden the school is obligatory. (In many countries it is not obligatory, but it is obligatory to learn, which means that You can have a home-teacher for Your child).
- In Sweden a class in the school, if there are 12 pupils. Maximum 35 pupils in one class.
- There is about one million non-Swedes living in Sweden.
- Finland has two languages Finnish and Swedish, with equal rights. I am a Finn-Swede, meaning that my parents were both speaking Swedish as their mother-language. My family moved to Finland, from Sweden, from my fathers side, in early 1600 A.C.
I lived in a place near the Swedish capital, that consisted of 33.000 people. (Some people called it wrongfully a getto, I call it multi-cultural).
In the area where I lived, no language had the majority among the pupils or, in fact in the community as whole. According to the social workers, there was 101 languages spoken as mother-languages! Mostly the people that was not from Europe, was refugees.
When we speak about pupils in the elementary school, the top five (the biggest mother-language minorities) was like this:
1st the Finnish-speaking children
2nd the Spanish-speaking children
3rd the Turks
4th the former Yugoslavians
5th the Swedish speaking children!!!
And the only official language, in Sweden, is Swedish. So the schools were teaching in Swedish. However, the Finns had teaching in mathematics etc. in Finnish.
Then, suddenly, the principal of one school, wanted to take this “right” away and begin to teach everything in Swedish.
The mothers of the Finnish pupils said that the pupils has not an opportunity to learn abstract or less abstract teaching, when all of them do not know the language, well enough.
So what happened was:
- the pupils (mainly because the opinions of the mothers) went on a school-strike, the most young ones was taken out from the official school.
It was against the law = illegal.
But so was the decision that the Finnish children could not create non-integrated classes; Finnish teaching classes. The 1st classes, age 7, had in the school where the strike broke out, 72 Finnish-speaking children, so they should have formed 3 first-grade classes!
- The Finns made a “new Finnish temporary school”, where the children got teaching by voluntary teachers etc. (I was btw. one of the cooks, mostly peeling potatoes and sometimes telling ancient stories to the children, naturally in Finnish).
- OK. It was illegal, the police should be taking the children to school, by force if needed. The Swedish government was not so stupid that they would begin to fight about 120 mothers in their homes, or kidnapping the children when they went to our “new Finnish temporary school”.
- Then came the mass-media, wanting to write about that it is a national thing, but the mothers explained that it is about how the children can learn if they do not understand the teaching?
This was a very good study how the mass-media works, but I do not want to go to that…, but they are mainly biased.
- Because my mother-language is Swedish, I was elected to be the spokesman before mass-media. (The Swedish-speaking minority in Finland is about 6% and have own schools, 2 universities etc.) So I praised “The Mother-Language”, asking what is the best language in the world?
Answering that it was The mother-language!
Naturally there was always some ass-hole reporter that asked if we thought Finnish language is better than the Swedish?
I answered that I am not speaking about the Finnish language, but the mother-language. And that my mother-language is Swedish! And that I want to protect the Swedish mini-minority that is so small, they are so few, that, they can’t even form classes according to the law (minimum 13 pupils).
This is a very long story, I just hope You get the general idea = we did not need any new laws, just the right tio make it “our way.”
Summa Summarum: The strike went on in 8 weeks, and the officials gave us all rights back as we had.
I am sorry for ranting, and I could go on and on, on this issue very long…
Anyhow, SenorBeef, if there would have been written in the
constitution, that the majority have to protect the minority, there would have been no need to fight. We would have had the same rights as the native people.
Nowadays there is a Finnish school in Stockholm, even if we did not want to separate us from the Swedish school, just have our own classes.
Now there is mentioned only, in the constitution, that everyone is equal; regardless colour, religion, sex etc. etc. But the question was not about gender, race or religion.
So my answer to the question: ”and by what mechanism?”,
is as above I have tried to explain: writing about it in the constitution.
I hope this will go for an answer, but naturally I would like to hear Your comments. And if You are a minority, by language, I am very interested how the majority is treating You, in what-ever country You live.
And how would it affect You, if there would be a paragraph in Your countries constitution, that would say, that the government is obliged to protect the minority etc. etc.
Thank You for reading.
Have a nive day!