Yes, I’m a minority — no, that doesn’t make me inherently liberal

Yes, I’m a minority — no, that doesn’t make me inherently liberal

Yes, I’m a minority — no, that doesn’t make me inherently liberal
November 09
18:01 2017

I am a minority.

My mother, who got her American citizenship in 2004, is from the Dominican Republic. I have a grandmother who is black and lives in Puerto Rico and an Italian father who fought in the Second Gulf War. My mother comes from African-American descent, and my father is 100 percent Italian  – from Naples to be exact. I usually joke and say that me and my two sisters are the only “American” ones in our family. (I mean, I was born in Lexington, Kentucky and love fast food.)

I am also a woman. A 5-foot tall, brown-eyed, mixed-race woman.

And on top of all that, I’m a young, right-leaning libertarian, attending a university known for its predominantly liberal demographics.

Minorities in society are defined as “a group of people who are singled out from others in society because of physical, or cultural characteristics, in which regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination,” according to sociologist Louis Wirth.

For me, being a millennial and a libertarian means having to squeeze out a fake laugh when someone makes another President Donald Trump joke. It means nodding my head and saying “sure” when someone makes a comment about how “racist” something or someone is and politely smiling through my absolute favorite punch line, “White people, am I right?”

Because the second someone finds out that you actually support Donald Trump, and you’re not white, you become “the problem.” Turns out, there are a lot of people like me out there, who share the same ideals and identify as right.

As a libertarian, I wholeheartedly support the idea of individual freedom and all that it entails. So yes, I support LGBTQ rights, I stand by the idea of pro-choice and I agree the Black Lives Matter movement is extremely important. I absolutely want back my pay from this gender wage gap, and I will always support small businesses.

But there has to be a line drawn somewhere.

And that’s where I find that I’m extremely fiscally conservative. So excuse me for never posing for an “iron fist” selfie, but I personally don’t agree with the glamorization and recent infatuation of identity politics. Since when did people start defining themselves specifically by their race, gender and political opinions? I’m serious. I’m not ashamed of my race or my gender by any means, but I also don’t find them to be the most fascinating thing about me as an individual.

I was always taught to acknowledge when you get a gut feeling when something doesn’t seem right, it’s because it probably isn’t.

So why is it that suddenly now in my 20s, I am told by practically everyone that because I am a minority, it will be harder for me to achieve my dreams unless I align myself with completely liberal ideals? And white people should feel a never-ending sense of guilt for their so-called privilege? I’m sorry, but what?

It wasn’t until my junior year of college at UNT that I became aware of my surroundings. I had inadvertently signed up for a race and multicultural studies course during America’s most consequential election year, and I’ll never forget it.

On my first day, my professor made it very clear that if you were not black, then you were white, and if you were white, you were inherently racist. There was no in-between.

From a libertarian view, I’m all about freedom of speech. And to an extent, I believe race and gender are important. But I think the minute you let it define you as who you are, you lose an insight of your inner self.

Growing up in Massachusetts, people often assumed I was Puerto Rican. In Florida, I was always mistaken for Cuban. Now in Texas, I’m either Mexican or white. I never felt offended or the need to defend my race because I’ve never let that define who I am.

Just because you’re a minority doesn’t mean you have to believe you automatically have it worse than others.

We’re all human. We all struggle, and we all have obstacles in our lives. How you choose to go about accomplishing your goals is up to you.

As for me, I’m always going to try my best. Race, gender and whatever else aside.

About Author

Nina Quatrino

Nina Quatrino

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3 Comments

  1. Michael
    Michael November 10, 11:21

    How do you alleviate the cognitive dissonance of supporting equal rights and personal liberties, while also supporting a President who actively works to limit these things? They are directly opposed.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Michael
    Michael November 10, 11:24

    Additionally, both the political left and right use “identity politics.” The left generally uses it greater effect and more openly, where the right tries to hide with “dog-whistle” tactics and “race-baiting.” It’s not really fair to say only the left wing uses identity politics. Everyone does, and it’s not necessarily bad.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Emilia
    Emilia November 10, 16:41

    Minorities do have it worse than the white majority. Don’t believe me? Look at incarceration rates and the statistics of who gets killed by police. But that isn’t my main issue. You voted and support someone who is openly racist, sexist, a fascist, and an all around a**hole. The fact that his anti-immigrant and anti-muslim rhetoric plus everything else wasn’t a deal breaker for you, is inherently problematic. I could write a dissertation on this honestly. Look, the reality is the right wing is going to use you and minorities like you as a talking point. You are a novelty to them. Not a person. (side note: isn’t “fiscal conservative” just code for “f*** poor people?”) You as both a minority and a woman (let alone as a student) benefit not all from the current administration. That is a non-alternative fact.

    Reply to this comment

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