On The Day My Facebook Crashed
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Politics and Activism

On The Day My Facebook Crashed

Thanks, Obama.

On The Day My Facebook Crashed
Truth Revolt

This article may contain political opinions that you do not agree with. I ask that if you must engage, please allow others to engage with you, and that you do so in a respectful manner to one another. After all, our First Amendment right allows the freedom of speech. Welcome to Democracy!

Allow yourself a moment to ponder before I begin. We bleed the same blood and yet here we are in 2016 fighting to end hate crimes and racking our brains over the dusty division between our Second Amendment right to bear arms and gun control. You've made leaps and bounds in your heavy robes, Lady Liberty, but the race is not won quite yet.

I shared a family photo of the Obamas on Facebook which received 124 comments, 36 likes and actualized several facts. The singular fact, one that resonated with me, was of racist implication — that the Obama's were "hated by most white Christians because of the color of their skin." To sum up several comments written on a very public space, I was called ignorant (Excuse me, "uninformed to the situation"), disrespectful and above all, I was described as the reason this country would stay divided. To understand these comments more clearly, I need to flesh out white privilege and institutional racism. My perspective is not academic by any means, but I share a similar opinion with that of most liberals.

White privilege is commonly experienced by people of color who are under similar political, economic and societal circumstances as white people. Said privilege cannot be understood without analyzing the fundamental structure on which it prospers — institutional racism. Statistics from 2015 show that white households produced a median net income around $265,000 while a black household was lucky to bring in $28,500. Even though the numbers are documented it is also proven that over half of Americans will reject a statistic if it goes against their core beliefs. If a white household thrived on the same income level as a minority household, minority groups were still known to have lived in poorer areas of the U.S, and in the jury selection process, blacks were 80 percent more likely to be declined for service than any other racial group. With that being said, whites were known to frequent drug usage but blacks frequented the prison cell three times more often. Those statistics were from 2014-2015, so let's jump to 2016. Feelings toward Obama politically are divided in numerous ways; around 34 percent of Americans feel positive about his progress as president while 28 percent say he tried but failed. Then there are other smaller numbers (8 percent or smaller) that claim he has made the racial division worse, which was one of the comments on my Facebook post.

To play Devil's advocate, we all experience privilege differently, but that's not to say that white privilege doesn't rear its ugly head at us more than other forms. Men overall are more privileged than women. Women of color are less privileged than many, refer to the "Angry Black Woman" or the busty, fast-tongued Latina woman stereotype. Today, men and women born as such biologically are more privileged than transgender individuals that are currently fighting for their rights to identify however they choose. Straight people are more privileged than queer people. The upper class is more privileged than the lower class. The idea is to check your privilege, an idea I've borrowed from a colleague but am using to enlighten my chunk of the world. If you check your privilege, you remove yourself as part of the problem. Acknowledge that you are on a different level than others, but don't ram that down their throat.

If you believe that my stance on this racial issue in particular means that I automatically take a liberal stance in politics, you've further supported the argument. I'm arguing for humanity, not for a political group. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. To those who've left negative comments on my Facebook post or took time out of their day to send me their disapproval privately, I speak directly to you. You've passed a judgment on me based upon a single, powerful statement which made you question all that you thought you knew about me. Now you have tangible evidence to see that I am educated on the matter and perhaps you should stop to consider my portion of the conversation as I have done so with yours.

To those that supported me throughout this Facebook scandal, whether you agreed with me or not, I thank you for standing up for not only me, but for your own beliefs. I thank you for reminding me that I was doing something right even if taking my politics to Facebook was wrong. Institutional racism and white privilege are very real, and maybe having someone that dips her feet in both racial pools will settle those murky ripples that some of us are trying so desperately to look away from. As Audre Lorde once wrote, "It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept and celebrate those differences."

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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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