North Texas Daily

The existence of minorities is over-politicized

The existence of minorities is over-politicized

The existence of minorities is over-politicized
March 06
14:00 2022

Minority identities are often politicized and used as weapons in the agenda of the left or the right. The politics enacted around minority bodies like women, trans people and people of color seek to control them and dehumanize them, even more so if they fall into multiple intersections of these groups. 

This deeply contrasts with the standard American: the white, cisgendered man. It is an identity that is afforded many privileges — most notably: the ability to live within one’s anatomical means. There lie no regulations to impede on men’s independence of their bodies, as with women. 

In 2021, one of the most aggressive right-centered anti-abortion laws was enacted in Texas: the Texas Heartbeat Act. This piece of legislation forbids abortion after a fetal heartbeat is heard unless the fetus poses a significant threat to the mother. This law is one of the most notable instances of the phenomenon where oppressed bodies are controlled and debated within law itself. 

The Texas Heartbeat Act symbolizes the lack of humanity regarding how politics view women. A woman’s body is not her own, but first and foremost a battleground for legislature, even though the conversation doesn’t concern those who enact the laws themselves. 

These limiting views often come from puritanical and Christian values post-colonization. These old religious standards affect the quality of life of almost all minorities. Most puritan Christian views align themselves underneath a white European-centered perspective thus actively harming those who are outliers to this identity. 

This is also evident in the discussion of immigration. Immigrants are seen as a problem to be fixed— as if  they were pests in a household. This discussion is primarily fueled by racism.

Despite statistics showing the diversity of nationalities moving to the U.S., the public is generally concerned with immigration from the Mexican border. Mexican people who have a rich, beautiful history are consequently boiled down to stereotypical points for a political debate. 

When we discuss people as political points, we reduce their humanity in the minds of the public. Racist remarks and propaganda are utilized to further advance the agenda of the left or right.

This is evident by the treatment which Mexican immigrants faced at the border during the Trump administration. Children were locked up in cages and stolen from their families — a truth that would have been looked at with disgust if they were white.

For years Trump was rallying the idea of building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico as if immigrants were animals trying to sneak into our garden. It was as if the American public — and when I say American, I mean white — needed to be protected from them. In an attempt to gain solidarity and support for the wall, he reduced an entire population of people to rapists and murders in his 2015 campaign launch. 

This tactic of minimizing and demonizing a minority group to keep the general public from allowing them fundamental human rights is nothing new.

We have seen it in the fight for gay marriage, a freedom that was afforded less than 10 years ago. We see it in the lack of trans accessibility in healthcare now, and even saw it in the Civil Rights era— which occurred only decades ago during the ’50s and ’60s. 

Minorities are forced to fight for their right to live and exist peacefully. We must often plead our case to white, cisgendered men who do not share our experiences and thus do not understand our pain. There’s no clear answer to the escape of this reality. Our existence is politicized by its very nature. 

Therein lies what we must do: we must continue to exist. Our existence is not just a protest but a definitive fact: we are living human beings and we reserve the right to exist just as they do.

The fight for progress is tiring and there is still much work to be done. But sometimes, as minorities, we just need to breathe. In our relaxation there is a statement, there is a power, there is a will to live.

Featured Illustration by Miranda Thomas

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Lake Smith

Lake Smith

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