Dear White People

Photo provided by  a sad reality. White Privilege going on for many years now. Have things really changed?

Photo provided by a sad reality. White Privilege going on for many years now. Have things really changed?

Chloe Truhlar, Multimedia Editor

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I’m white and privileged… what does this mean?

White privilege is a term coined to explain a system in which white people possess certain societal privileges that provide them benefits that other groups are denied typically based on race. Some may argue that other factors play into this such as social class but there is still the undeniable fact that people with white skin have set advantages that others do not.

The social and economic system in the U.S is systematically structured against minorities and while studying this as a white person, I wonder what can be done to help combat systematic racism? Well first, learn where you stand and where your voice is most valuable.  

Speaking in safe spaces and other areas of outreach is not your platform, so let others share their experiences. However, in situations where minorities have no voice, that would be the right place to plant your input. Learn that in those situations, you are someone whose voice is regularly heard so speak on behalf of the groups that do not have the ability to.

I’m not saying that white people are only allowed to project their voice and support in settings where minorities rarely have a say, but more so allowing those others who are directly affected to express their struggles.

These marginalized groups do not owe you anything either, so don’t expect an award for speaking in their favor, and do it more so out of the morality and compassion for others.

Marginalized groups don’t owe you or anyone an explanation of what they have been through so please be respectful; it’s not your story or life. The importance of not getting offended is to put others’ issues in before yours. Often, people look at things head on and take them to heart. By not getting offended or taking things personally, you are able to assess the situation for what it really is.

Do not get offended when a person of color is talking about their experiences or about white people. When minorities share their own experiences about encounters with white people, it is not directed towards you personally. However, it’s directed to the history and culture that has been inflicted on them. If you choose to not be a part of a community that participates in being oblivious to their privilege, then that isn’t you and keep it that way.

I believe everyone deserves a voice and to be shown genuine compassion. It’s so important that white people understand their privilege just so they can be truly aware of how their life plays into another’s. Strengthen the compassion we should naturally have for each other. Stray away from the idea of “me, myself and I” and look into how your presence is part of a bigger connection with other groups of people.

Don’t be blind to your privilege and use it as a voice to create awareness instead.

 

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