The Tyranny of the Majority

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. (See more: How did the constitution guard against tyranny)

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 minority, were constantly denied jobs even if they were more capable for the job than a white person, the white always got it over the black man. Not all whites believed this way, but the majority of them did. The blacks were looked at as a disgrace, all because of their skin color. They had separate restrooms, separate drinking fountains, separate sections of the bus, everything they did had to be away from the whites. The majority ignored the idea of the Golden Rule, and until people began to take a stand up for their rights, treated the blacks as unworthy.

The blacks were given no say, whatsoever, on anything and their opinions counted for nothing, they weren’t even given the chance to speak their opinions. There was not a positive aspect to the way that they looked at the blacks, and due to that, their will always be racism in this world, the majority will always have control over the minority. Whether it is as bad as it once was or not, it will always be there. Lani Guinier wrote an essay expressing her concern that the majority may trample the rights of the minority. She gives great examples to prove her point. There are many case scenarios where the majority calls it a “democratic process”, but does that really mean anything at all anymore? No, not in the slightest bit. People, the majority, have taken that term and used it as an excuse to make them seem as though everyone is being treated fairly, when in reality, the majority is becoming in complete control. It is necessary that people do things through a democratic process, however, the Golden Rule must be followed. If it is not, we are destined to fall under control of the majority, and have our rights taken from us one by one.

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 minority, were constantly denied jobs even if they were more capable for the job than a white person, the white always got it over the black man. Not all whites believed this way, but the majority of them did. The blacks were looked at as a disgrace, all because of their skin color. They had separate restrooms, separate drinking fountains, separate sections of the bus, everything they did had to be away from the whites. The majority ignored the idea of the Golden Rule, and until people began to take a stand up for their rights, treated the blacks as unworthy. The blacks were given no say, whatsoever, on anything and their opinions counted for nothing, they weren’t even given the chance to speak their opinions. There was not a positive aspect to the way that they looked at the blacks, and due to that, their will always be racism in this world, the majority will always have control over the minority. Whether it is as bad as it once was or not, it will always be there. Lani Guinier wrote an essay expressing her concern that the majority may trample the rights of the minority. She gives great examples to prove her point. There are many case scenarios where the majority calls it a “democratic process”, but does that really mean anything at all anymore? No, not in the slightest bit. People, the majority, have taken that term and used it as an excuse to make them seem as though everyone is being treated fairly, when in reality, the majority is becoming in complete control. It is necessary that people do things through a democratic process, however, the Golden Rule must be followed. If it is not, we are destined to fall under control of the majority, and have our rights taken from us one by one.