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The Milton Measure

Trump’s Hypocrisy Regarding Syrian Foreign Policy

by on Friday, April 28th, 2017

Privilege weaves its way into each and every one of our lives; however, not all privilege among people is equal. Depending on your race, gender, sexuality, religion, and overall identity, your privilege can be greater or lesser than someone else’s. Specifically, a lot of us forget to realize the privilege that simply our skin color or gender allows. Now, this isn’t to say privilege is necessarily a sinful and destructive concept. In fact, acknowledging privilege can actually be beneficial. The understanding that white people and men have an ingrained advantage in society doesn’t make these people wicked. Instead, the defining principle is not only recognizing the privilege bestowed by society, but also using the privilege and compassion to stand beside those who don’t have certain advantages.

When posters detailing male privilege and white privilege started to surface around school, the reactions ranged greatly: some were grateful that the idea of privilege was being brought to the forefront, while others felt that these posters served as a way to shame white or male people. Nonetheless, the intent of the posters was in no way meant to attack those of privilege. On the contrary, they served as a reminder. While reading the statements, we must understand that to a male or a white person these privileges, whether utilized or not, are available. The posters weren’t meant to convey that every white person has done this, or every male has done that. If as a male or white person, you read these posters and simply understand that there is discrimination in the words these statements recall, then you have reminded yourself that all people deserve to be treated equally, and you’ve checked your privilege.

However, some people felt those posters were “uncalled for” or “aggressive.” After hearing these opinions floating around, I started to think about, as Alex Palacios-Santos says in his letter, how outrageous the posters are– what a good way to describe them! That’s just it– outrageous: shockingly bold. What better way to get one’s attention than to say something he hasn’t thought about? However, I think people often mistake passion for anger, as there is a fine line between these two emotions. Nevertheless, activism is not a subtle act. It’s a loud and proud one, and not an easy one. All movements require a delicate balance of passion, intensity, and patience.

I spoke to a variety of students from different racial background and genders, and Solace Mensah-Narh (1) says she feels that at Milton, “We use one bad apple to take down an entire movement, and people need to start seeing the problem with that.” She conveyed how if one statement on the posters was potentially unclear or poorly worded, it should not take away from the overall goal of the cause. So many of these statements are based on real experiences. Instead of attacking the general idea of the posters, ask questions about statements you’re confused about or don’t understand. We have to encourage understanding. All too often, we find ourselves so wrapped in our own beliefs that we can’t seem to regard the other side. Sometimes it feels as though people choose to not understand. How can we possibly have a conversation if no one wants to listen? Creators of these posters explained the countless attempts in which many have tried to spark a constructive, informative conversation but failed to get people engage. We can’t be afraid to learn, especially if we sense we might be wrong. We spend so much time building up our egos, so we can be confident and comfortable in our identity. But, what it comes down to is the maturity and ability to understand where we went wrong. We have to learn to recognize our mistakes in order to prevent them from happening again.

So, take a step back. Get to talking about it all without becoming frustrated. Be aware and acknowledge that these statements are those of real experiences. Take responsibility for understanding the harm caused by taking advantage of privilege. We all wish to be treated with respect and dignity, so why not make it a little easier for everyone to reach that goal.

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Posted by on Apr 28 2017. Filed under More Opinion, Opinion, Recent Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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