A great disadvantage of being a member of a minority is constantly being seen as only a part of a collective. For example, European-Americans are regarded as individuals, while a minority is just seen as a member of the racial or religious group to which he or she belongs. If John is EA, his actions are only seen as a representation of himself, and he is not expected to conform to any racial standard. However, as a minority, his every action would be evaluated on how closely he fit into a stereotypical mold, and if he did not, he would just be deemed an exception. I call this perception of minorities the "Borg Effect." We aren't expected to have our own voice, and the actions of a few are seen as the responsibility of all.
I saw the Borg Effect at work today after reading Sarah Palin's objections to a mosque being built two blocks away from Ground Zero. She tweets:
Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing
First, it's interesting that she addresses them as "peace-seeking," as if they by nature they are uncharacteristic. She must distinguish good Muslims from the supposed normal, violent Muslims. Secondly, she, and apparently many Americans, expect all Muslims to take responsibility for the attacks of 9/11. As one narrator said:
On Sept. 11, they declared war against us. And to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans [as if Muslims aren't Americans too and none were victims of 9/11], they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at ground zero.
So, the responsibility of 9/11 does not rest on the suicide boomers head, or on the terrorist organizations, but on every single one of the one billion Muslims of the world. By this logic, should we forbid any European-Americans from operating near the location where the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed? Lovely.