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Lynnwood business owner uses 10 percent minority status to gain benefits

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

A Caucasian-appearing Lynnwood man used a lab DNA test to find out that he was partially a minority — six percent indigenous and four percent Sub-Saharan African.

With that information in mind, Ralph Taylor, owner of Orion Insurance Group, decided that he wanted to secure the benefits for his own business that businesses run by minorities receive. He knew of one man who appeared to be Caucasian who had received grants for his minority status.

“The motivation to begin with was that I looked inside the system and … I saw that there are 10s of thousands of visually Caucasian males who are getting benefits,” he said to KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.

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Taylor, who is suing the state and federal governments to be recognized as a minority, said that his motivation started out as a financial one, since, as an entrepreneur, he will always do what affords his company the greatest advantage.

“I’m a businessman — I’m going to do what I can to be a businessman and win in business,” he said.

As he began going through the process, however, his motivation changed to the desire to expose the flaws with a system that was intended to bring justice to different races.

“To begin with, it was for the economic benefit, but then I saw the hypocrisy of the system and the corruption of the system, and so I chose to just bring it to light,” Taylor said.

He believes that programs that give these certifications to minorities began with the best of intentions, but now are just being used by people who want special benefits despite not being full minorities.

“The intent to begin with was honorable, but now it’s been corrupted, it’s morally bankrupt, it’s being gamed, I’m showing that it can be gamed,” he said.

In the future, he wants to see the system changed.

“The system is going to have to get adjusted to where, like Martin Luther King, we’re not going to judge each other by the color of our skin but by the content of our character … they’re just genetic mutations, and at the end of the day, we’re all in this together,” he said.

Dori asked Taylor if it was honorable to claim minority status for his insurance agency’s financial gain.

“I’ve always known I’m multiracial … I’ve lived my life as a multiracial person,” Taylor responded.

Dori asked, “In what way has you being Sub-Saharan African manifested itself in your life?”

Taylor answered that he listens to hip-hop, naming Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, and 50 Cent as his favorite artists.

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