Credit: Ambivalently Yours
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Acknowledge Your Privilege

Raise Up the Oppressed

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In the wake of the tragic deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, there has been an outpouring of discussion about human privilege in the United States. Most conversations have turned into arguments affirming or denying the existence of white privilege. White privilege is a Westernized societal privilege that benefits people who racially identify as white. While is is unfair and unjust for one individual to have privilege over another just because of the way they were born- is an unfair and unjust phenomenon, denying it is far worse. As a white person, I fully acknowledge my privilege. I have never feared I would be victim of violence due to my race. I have never been the only white person in a room. I have never been called a racial slur. This fear and isolation leads to racial oppression. My privilege keeps me from ever experiencing an injustice of this magnitude.

Historically, straight, white, wealthy, anglo-saxon, Protestant men have made up the majority of Congress. They are the political elites running our country. It should be no surprise why society normalizes identities of gender, sexuality, race, religion, economic opportunity, and disabilities to coincide with that of the majority. If you do not fit within what is socially acceptable, you are put at a disadvantage.

Privilege expands beyond race. If you are a man, you experience privilege. Society allows you to take up more space. You are likely to never experience slut shaming, cat calling, or sexual harassment. You are less likely to be victim of revenge pornography, sexual assault, or stalking. If you are raped, if is unlikely that you will experience victim blaming because of what you were wearing. It is unlikely that you will be told you were "asking for it". It is unlikely that you will ever feel unsafe because of your gender. You will never be paid less than your opposite gender counterpart for doing the same job.

If you have never been discriminated against because of your gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, income, or mental or physical disability- you experience great privilege. With privilege comes responsibility. You must not overshadow the voices of marginalized groups. You must acknowledge your opportunities and societal benefits and use them to raise up those who are oppressed.

BuzzFeed recently created a quiz to measure your level of privilege on a scale of 0/100. I encourage you to take the quiz and use your results to determine how you should alter the space you occupy in society to coincide with the privilege you maintain simply by living.

Take the Quiz: https://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/how-privileged-ar...



Leah Juliett is a poet, LGBTQ rights activist, musical theatre performer, and intersectional feminist. She puts pen to paper discussing politics, culture, mental health, the arts, and diversity & thrives on sarcasam and sololoquies.

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