I’m fortunate to have grown up in a diverse school, located in a diverse town, in a diverse state.
Minorities weren’t looked at as outcasts or mythical creatures or aliens walking among us on planet Earth — And believe me, I have been to places where I was personally looked at in such a manner.
I’m fortunate to have made friends of many different races, making it easier for me to better understand and better relate to people of different races. Even more-so, it has made me more aware and more conscious of issues that people of other races face.
However, my experiences are not always relatable to the vast majority. Not everyone has had that same level of exposure.
In fact, there are still many areas throughout the country, and throughout the world, that are quite the opposite. There are places where people have not been exposed to any diversity or inclusivity of different races.
Since we’ve all grown up with such different life experiences and have been exposed to such varying levels of diversity, it has affected people’s ability to empathize with others who are different from them.
In a time where more communities are being integrated and diversified, the status quo is being disrupted. This then leads to many instances of discrimination and animosity between races.
Then again, we are human and we often fear what we do not know.
Just the same as people don’t want to be discriminated against for something that they can’t control about themselves (such as race or gender), people of privilege don’t want to be scrutinized over the fact that were born with certain privileges that they had no control over.
No one wants to be attacked for something that they can’t control. No one wants to be punished for something that they were born into this world with.
In the society that now live in, race and privilege are two things that can are often be bucketed together — And in particular, white privilege.
[White] privilege has become such a controversial issue in America, and across the globe, because people don’t necessarily want to admit the fact that they are more fortunate than minorities when it comes to circumstances due to race.
With the advancement in equal opportunity, people want to believe that we’ve fixed the issue of racism in the world, but really we’ve just masked it.
We put a seal of approval which says, “Okay, we’ve already fixed this issue. Let’s move on now.”
People don’t want to face or deal with issues unless they directly affect their own situation. This then impacts the rest of the population that does have to deal with it.
But, we need to realize that just because it doesn’t affect you directly, it still affects those who surround you.
We need to remember that we co-exist in this world and that one person’s problem can eventually end up being the vast majority’s problem.
In America particularly, we have indeed come a very long way in the issues of race (Let’s not even get started on the history of racism because that can be saved for your own textbook research).
However, even though we’ve come a long way, we clearly still have a long way to go.
Some may even say that we’ve digressed based on what’s been revealed by the hearts and opinions of our peers ever since the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
Knowing that there is still such a lack of diversity and inclusion the world, we need to work together to understand the pain points that others have to deal with.
We need to have empathy towards one another and realize that though our experiences are different, we are all still people who are the same at our core.
We need to stop being so uncomfortable admitting that racism, discrimination, and ignorance still exists. We need to stop being so uncomfortable having the conversation.
If we don’t, then we’ll never truly solve the problem at hand. We’ll never truly move forward.