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Are you privileged?

November 16, 2016

I woke up yesterday with a heavy heart, full of deep sadness and fear. My feelings were so strong that it made me feel physically sick. I heard the voices of many loved ones who were also feeling overcome with fear and sadness. People feel dehumanized, people feel devalued, people feel scared, people are literally fearing for their lives and future. This is a reality for many people. If you do not feel any of these feelings, consider yourself privileged

I also heard many people, who both supported and did not support Trump, basically tell people to get over it. Words such as “get over it,” “it’s not the end of the world,” “not everyone who supports him is sexist/racist,” “just accept it,” and other phrases of the like also came up on my social media time and time again.

Please hear me without defense; this is important to hear and recognize. If you are able to see and look past Donald Trump’s racism and sexism, consider yourself privileged. If you are able to brush the feelings of sadness off quickly and move on with your day, and think others should do the same, consider yourself privileged. If the words of hatred that spew out of our President-elect’s mouth do not affect you or your loved ones, consider yourself privileged. If you do not support Donald Trump and know how dangerous he is, but also didn’t vote in a way that you knew would help defeat him out of spite or protest, consider yourself privileged. If you boycotted voting but also are devastated by this result, consider yourself privileged. If you are able to brush this loss aside as a natural consequence because at least the Democratic National Committee got what it deserved (which also means that we got what they “deserved”), consider yourself privileged. If you do not fear for your life, for your future, for your child’s future, for the future of your loved ones, consider yourself privileged.

At the beginning of this semester, I had to write an essay identifying five aspects of my identity and whether or not each individual characteristic put me at an advantage or disadvantage in society. The five parts of me I chose to discuss put me both at an advantage and disadvantage. I was able to recognize that where some parts of me put me in a place of oppression, other parts of me put me at an advantage, at a place of privilege. The purpose of this assignment was for us to recognize and reflect where we stand in society, because if we were going to discuss and reflect issues that stem from race, class and gender in society, we first had to reflect on ourselves.