No, Being a Minority Doesn’t Make You Right


Crystal Chen

Malicious minorities assume credibility by hiding behind a mask of automatic credibility. Yet people outside minority groups would be criticized if they were advocating the same messages.

I trust that most people reading this are in the process of suffering – also known by a more familiar name, “source check”. Everyone’s heard of the “reliable source” – a seemingly unachievable feat requiring an expert knowledgeable in their field. And in today’s globalized age of liberal democracy, this authority can mean anyone who is qualified to speak on a topic, like specific races on race issues. These efforts by the broader community may mean well, and they certainly do uplift disadvantaged communities with the power to speak up. However, it is crucial to not award this power solely because they’re minorities, as time after time has proven that malicious people belonging to minority groups will take advantage of their demographic to do immense harm. 

In fact, this double-edged sword has led to a recent revival of extremist ideology. Take, for example, the conservative political commentator Candace Owens. Owens is infamous on social media for painting the BLM movement in a negative light, suggesting that the social unrest was just a cheap cash grab. In addition, the commentator was recently spotted sporting “White Lives Matter” T-shirts and defending Ye West, who shares the same sentiments. 

Her critics describe her messaging as undermining the intentions of the original BLM movement, which was to counter the racist mindset that allows the world to gloss over the murders of African Americans like George Floyd since their lives don’t matter. On the other hand, “White Lives Matter” adds nothing productive to the conversation because white lives have always mattered. Whether it be history textbooks or representation in entertainment, white people have always dominated every aspect of their lives.

And so, the White Lives Matter argument is invalid…until it’s supposedly legitimized by an African American supporting it. People accept Owen’s argument because she’s an African American, and thus has authority on the issue, but that shouldn’t be the case. Her arguments should be judged at face value for solely the messages they convey.

This isn’t just an issue with conservatives. Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign frequently cited “appointing the first-ever black woman as vice president” if he was elected president. When Biden won the election, he indeed appointed Kamala Harris, an Indian and Jamaican-American woman, as his vice president. Her identity as part of a marginalized community satisfied voters, because of how inclusivity alone is supposedly enough progress.

However, her appointment is actually against progress and democratic values like freedom and equality for all. Examining Harris’s track record as California’s Attorney General from 2011 to 2017 reveals the damaging consequences that her policies bring. According to Vox, Harris’s criminal justice policies revealed how she imprisoned suspects even if they were proven innocent. In addition, she defends the death penalty as a valid sentence for convicted criminals. It’s clear that Harris does nothing to amend the current state of American prisons–a peculiar institution that mass incarcerates 1.2 million people, accounting for 20% of the world’s prison population. In doing so, Harris advocates for separating prisoners–humans–from their families and broader society.

False authority in minority groups is therefore an issue affecting all of our lives, whether it be normalizing discriminatory rhetoric or actual government policies. It has the power to threaten progress in civil rights, and separate families all the same. To protect these, it’s critical for everyone to denounce bad behavior and give minority groups equal treatment when it comes to harmful opinions. 

Sure, minority groups do have more expertise to speak on some issues through lived experience, but we cannot allow people to champion violence. Being a woman, person of color, or member of the LGBTQ community gives individuals irreplaceable first-hand experience. However, it does not give absurd arguments a chance to insidiously corrupt civil discourse. At the end of the day, arguments must first be evaluated at face value for the messages they promote. We must not be led by the nose by a sense of subjective credibility. In the end, all harm is harm regardless of who advocates it, so our perception of demographic groups must not grant them undeserved authority.