The Tyranny of the Majority

Topics: Black people, White people, United Kingdom Pages: 2 (651 words) Published: February 23, 2014
In the essay “The Tyranny of the Majority”, Lani Guinier expresses her concern that the will of the majority may trample the rights of the minority, which I completely agree with. Guinier speaks of the Golden Rule and the idea that if the Golden Rule is not applied, the majority will lack in recognizing, and taking in account the desires, let alone consider the ideas of the minority, representing how this is in no way a democratic process.

The Golden Rule is simply stated as “Treat others as you want to be treated”. It seems to be a fairly easy rule to live by and quite fair. However, one who is considered a minority seems to run into many people and ideas that seem to not follow it. Many may be denied a job, treated unfairly, or just looked down on. Often times the majority finds ways to make the minority feel as though they have say and that their opinions will count for something through a “democratic process”,  knowing that the majority will still trample the minority. Guinier speaks of a boys’ Catholic High School, Brother Rice, which had to have two separate proms because the school was predominantly white, so the black students, although given a chance to give their opinion on music played at the prom, had little opportunity to have their opinions and suggestions actually matter. This is indeed an example of a democratic process, giving everyone the chance to participate equally, however knowing that the school was populated mainly by white students, their votes would overpower the black students votes no questions asked. This is an example of the majority making it seem as though they are being fair because they can consider it a democratic process, but they are missing the most important aspect, following the Golden Rule. Another example of this in history would be throughout the entire Civil Rights movement. The majority of the people in that time were whites. Whites who thought of blacks as less worthy than themselves. The blacks, being the...
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