Checking Your Privilege
Politics and Activism

Checking Your Privilege

and how to start

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Checking Your Privilege
Mashable

One of the most common reactions teenagers my age have when hearing about an act of injustice being committed in the world is ‘’I know that injustice and discrimination exists, but I feel like there is nothing I personally can do about it.’’ Quite commonly, this sort of inquiry stems from people of privilege, who are trying to find a way to support equality. Unsurprisingly, those on the receiving end, those whose concerns and issues are being constantly marginalized, more often than not know exactly what to do in situation where discrimination is present. Understandably, it can be very hard to come to terms with your privilege, especially when feeling as though you yourself are not actively doing anything which would count as prejudice. However unchecked privileges can contribute to oppression more significantly than you may think. The most important thing to remember in these cases, is that the best way to learn and to recognize you position, is to listen when somebody tries to educate you. By listening to what someone who knows what it’s like to not have any of those privileges has to say, one can better come to terms with the kind of actions that are being committed around the world. Similarly, no one person can ever speak for an entire group or ideal, which is why listening to more than one viewpoint is important. If that opinion might question the attitudes of a specific privileged group you may be a part of in a negative way, then that is the best way to learn. Checking your privilege isn’t supposed to be comfortable. The best way to learn and educate yourself is to get out of your comfort zone, and to really come to terms with what a word or an action, whether intention or not, can do. I know that when I watch a speech, or read a book, or listen to a story being told from the point of view of someone who’s voice is usually marginalized, I feel uncomfortable, and shameful that such acts of oppression are still happening in a world that has progressed so much, and that unknowingly, I might sometimes contribute to that. By educating yourself, you can contribute to changing the norm that voices of privileged are more worthy to be heard than those that are not, and that is an incredible achievement.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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