Liberals Discriminate Too: How To Be A Young Republican In New York

Growing up as a New Yorker, I’ve seen very little political diversity. There have always been sentiments of voting Democrat and a large animosity against the Republican Party. In New York City, Republican voters make up a political minority.  

I spoke with my millennial colleague Kishan Singh, a Guyanese American from the Bronx, who considers himself a Republican, about his experiences living as a political minority in New York:

“I’ve always held my grounds and kept true to my values. Ever since I was younger, I tried to be informed on what is going on and I have always tried to keep informed opinions rather than just agree with everyone else," said Singh.

"Being different from everyone else, I have often been discriminated against. Peers, classmates, and sometimes even teachers would approach me just for a political debate and prove me wrong.

"I did not understand: why not just accept that we have differences?  Isn’t this a country where our political differences are accepted?"

Singh continued, "What’s worse is when people attack my character based on my political opinions. I was called a racist, an Islamophobe, and many more hateful things just because I subscribe to the Republican Party. I think all groups from political to ethnic, religious, cultural etc. have factions that are hateful towards other groups."

"But they do not speak for the overall group!" he emphasized. "Democrats have a history of bigotry and Republicans in our early years have advocated abolishing slavery! It hurts to face these attacks but I will stand true to my beliefs." 

"I’ll tell you what I believe in: a free market, individual liberties, and government staying out of our affairs. Even though I am a political minority, I still try to respect everyone no matter what their political beliefs are. And I would appreciate similar respect in return.”

I sat and listened as he vented to me his frustrations. 

Then I realized the significance Kishan plays in our future. He brings to the table not only political diversity, but ethnic diversity within the Republican Party. He demonstrates bravery and dignity for holding true to his beliefs and is an example to other people who find themselves at “odds” with the status quo.  

In many ways, Kishan is the kind of youth that organizations like the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, PolicyMic etc. look for: an aspiring millennial who is not afraid to think outside the box. 

He ended the conversation by telling me that he may be at voting odds in New York, but he feels a sense of satisfaction for having voted, contributed to the political movement of this nation, and in his words: “fulfilling my duty as an American citizen through voting for the kind of impact I want to generate here.” As Naomi Klein said, “Democracy is not just the right to vote, it is the right to live with dignity.” 

Kishan is doing just that by standing his grounds. If you are a minority of any sort, do not feel afraid to embrace what makes you stand out.

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Tahsin Chowdhury

Tahsin Chowdhury is a rising senior in the City College of New York studying International Studies Concentrating on International Relations. He has been a long affiliate of the Roosevelt Institute Campus Network as a Director for Defense and Diplomacy in the City College Chapter, and the Northeast Regional Policy Coordinator on a national level. His policy proposal: "Engaging in Grassroots Diplomacy Through Globalized Education" has been featured in the Roosevelt Institute 10 Ideas Journal for Defense and Diplomacy and has been regarded as the top in that subject area nation wide for 2012. Tahsin has been involved in his college's Model UN program for around three years, taking on both student and staff/leadership roles. He has done some work with the United Nations representing the NGO peace action where he advocated their peace agenda while networking with other NGOs and UN officials there. One of Tahsin's key experiences is working for the U.S. State Department in the summer of 2012. He was working for the South and Central Asian Affairs Bureau focusing on investment climates and public diplomacy issues throughout the region. Tahsin has presented sessions within the state department on public diplomacy and engaging south asian international education. He aspires to be a Foreign Service Office in the future.

MORE FROM

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Democratic brand, WH Communications Director, Jared Kushner to be questioned

Here are the important stories to know for Monday, July 24

This child kept HIV in remission for 8 years without drugs. Here’s what that really means.

More than eight years after his initial treatment, the child is still in remission.

Driver charged with human trafficking after 30-40 people found locked in fatally hot tractor-trailer

The charge against James Matthew Bradley, the alleged driver of the vehicle, could carry a punishment as severe as the death penalty.

Charlie Gard’s parents end legal fight to continue treatment for terminally ill son

The parents have withdrawn their request for Charlie to receive treatment in the U.S.

10th person dies after 38 found locked in sweltering tractor-trailer outside Texas Walmart

8 were found dead at the scene; 2 more died after being rushed to the hospital in critical or serious condition.

Dozens killed in deadly car bomb attack in Kabul

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the deadly attack.

‘Hot Mic’ podcast: Democratic brand, WH Communications Director, Jared Kushner to be questioned

Here are the important stories to know for Monday, July 24