Checking Your Privilege
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Checking Your Privilege

and how to start

Checking Your Privilege

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.

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

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

Ask your best friend these basic questions to see just how well they know you.

Ask Your BFF These 20 Questions To See If They Know You As Well As You THINK That They Do

My best friend has been in my life since we were 3 years old, now that we are adults now, I'd like to ask her these questions to see how well she knows me.

Keep Reading... Show less

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments