The Piedmont Highlander

The Student News Site of Piedmont High School

The Piedmont Highlander

The Piedmont Highlander

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April 19, 2024
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April 18, 2024

Editorial: Let’s start listening to every voice

As the presidential election quickly approaches, the minority vote becomes increasingly important. We read letters of support, listen to endorsements on the news, and perform Google searches. However, we listen to numbers and statistics instead of the stories of the actual people behind them. We choose not to seek out the perspectives of our minority neighbors. We do not listen.

To understand the voices of our community and create positive change, Piedmont residents should actively seek out diverse perspectives.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, a minority is something that takes up less than half of a whole. As such, the minority vote is simply any group that makes up less than half of the votes cast. Understanding the minority vote can be a good tool to determine which candidate will best support the whole country. It can also illustrate who may gain the majority of swing votes. But a simple number, like the minority vote, only scrapes the surface of the issue of minority opinion. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie stated there is danger to a single story. Limiting people to one narrative, or set of statistics, ignores the many stories that makeup who they are and therefore takes away their humanity. There is not a single minority vote.

In today’s political environment many groups are being boiled down to a single story whether through the statistics of the minority vote or in the candidates’ policies. A single statistic states that 66 percent of Hispanics voted for Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. But these people were not only Hispanic. They had different genders, ages, religions, and sexualities. They lived in different areas of the United States for different spans of generations. Just as being Hispanic was not these people’s only story, the reasons behind their vote varied. This is the case for every minority or group.

We have the opportunity to live in a place containing a wide variety of different cultures, beliefs, and perspectives. Even though Piedmont itself is around 75 percent white, the surrounding city of Oakland is the fourth most diverse city in the United States. We should take advantage of this great opportunity that the majority of the nation does not have. On the other hand, there are some perspectives that are not a part of our community which Piedmont residents may be unable to hear. Perspectives in the United States vary greatly based on location. Therefore, the internet can be a great tool to search for other perspectives to which we do not have access. But there is still value in searching out those minority voices in our own backyard.

Even if we do seek out minority voices, once every four years during the Presidential election should not be the only time we do so. Positive action does not only take place at the federal level. There are people in our community and on our campus right now who are asking for change. Attend Black Student Union if you are not Black and Asian Student Union if you are not Asian. Go and simply listen.


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