Why Minorities in Office Matters

During this age and time, I feel it is impossible to go on any social media platform without any mention of politics. I know what you’re thinking: that this is going to be me bashing people that I disagree with. But, if you honestly listen to what I say, nobody here should feel “called out” or attacked.

I attend college in Greenville, North Carolina. Pitt County recently elected its first ever African-American female sheriff. Paula Dance is also the fifth ever African-American female to serve as sheriff in the United States. I think it is important to celebrate this progress. However, some people may see it differently than I do. These are my opinions on sides of the topic of minorities in office that I hear all of the time:

 

“Why would you vote for somebody because of their sex or race?”

For me, experience comes first. I feel that nine times out of ten, women or people of color running for an official position have sufficient credentials, but have not had the experience they need to move up in their desired career. Dance, for example, has 28 years of law enforcement experience, with 26 of those years in the sheriff’s department.

 

“You look ignorant when you mention a candidate using their sex or race.” There’s a difference between choosing someone for an official position solely because of their background and noting if they come from a marginalized background when they run for that position. It is important to be inclusive in our government to properly represent our people, so it is important when minorities run for office.

 

“Representation isn’t that big of a deal.” This sets off so many red flags in my head. I know people who fight for representation with white males in predominantly-female fields, such as teaching and nursing. So why should it be any different for minorities? I know representation matters so much. Whether that be someone being inspired to go to college or pursue a certain career path, it is so much more comfortable for them to do it when they see someone “like them” succeeding in that field.

 

 

To make a long spiel short, we all know minorities haven’t had the same opportunities as those with privilege. What better time than now to grant those opportunities? I’m not here to say that race or sex should dominate over other qualifications, but it should definitely be something not to turn your nose up over. This whole thing can be condensed to five words: Just be a fair person!