being privileged comes with power and responsibility
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The Power and the Responsibility of privelege

How you, as a privileged person, can do the responsible thing, and make the world better for all persons.

a game of chess with black pieces knocked down

To start this off, I feel I should give a bit of background information about myself. I am a straight, white, male. I, in this day and age, am privileged. While some may disagree with this point, let me elaborate on what I mean.

I will begin with the easiest one, my skin color. I am white and because of it, I will never have to face the awkward moment of a police officer pulling me over "just to check" something. I will never have a parent look at me and move their child to the side. I will never face racial discrimination, nor the racial profiling because of my skin color.

I am straight and because of this, I will never be called certain discriminatory names used to degrade me based on my sexual orientation. I will never know what it feels like for my family not to accept me. I will never know what it took to get equal marriage rights.

I am a male and because of it, I will never face inequality in the workplace. I will never have my rights as a person removed from me based on my genitalia. I will never have to fight for a voice, or free thought. I will never have to be looked down upon because I am considered the weaker sex.

I will never not be considered a person.

When I lived in Memphis, I was shocked to hear stories from my friends who were confronted by gang violence, who were discriminated by cops, and or who occasionally lost a family member due to gun-violence. It never occurred to me that this was how people lived. That my life could be so different from theirs. I will never understand it, but I can recognize it now.

This all accumulates to a singular point: that I am privileged. My life will be easy, and I will never understand what it is like to be a minority, gay, or a woman. I am none of those things, and therefore won't have to deal with the struggles they have.

However, with this privilege comes a responsibility. It is mine, and others like me, that have the responsibility to recognize the injustices that occur in our society and do something about it. It is our job with this privilege to make sure that our voices are favorable to everyone. That the decisions we make with our power support and benefit those who do not have the power to make their voices heard. We should assist those who wish to speak their mind, who wish to be understood, and who wish to be equal. We have the power to rid the world of cruelties that face individuals who wish to be free.

Power is difficult to give up, but it must be done. We feel entitled to this power when it is given through privilege. This fact alone will leave some of us ignorant to our fellow people. Entitlement makes us close minded to the rest of the world. It desensitizes our outlook on the lives of others, and the lack of equality that many people face.

To fix this ailment we must introduce ourselves to situations that make us feel uncomfortable.

We must bring ourselves to areas uncommon and unknown to us to see how other people live.

I never considered myself racist before I moved to Memphis, but I never felt comfortable around African Americans or Muslims.

Now my best friend is a Muslim Pakistani.

I was abhorred by what I saw in Memphis, and what I continue to see as I have moved to different areas. Discrimination isn't something that you can turn a blind eye too. A quote from a Holocaust survivor came to me about when everyone was being taken away and he said nothing, and that in the end when they came for him there was no one left to speak for him. If we continue this trend of discrimination and purposefully become ignorant towards it, then the fate of that holocaust survivor may become our own.

We are humans, all of us, doesn't matter who we are. We all deserve to be treated as a person. Sadly, that is not the reality for some.

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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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