Sunday, December 1, 2013

Privilege



A recent poster campaign by MacEwan University's U-SOLVE (University Students Offering Leadership for Violence Elimination) has sparked controversy with the student body. White, male, straight, able-bodied individuals cry foul as it felt like an attack on their being. "It isn't their fault, they were born that way" as Lady Gaga would say.

Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack illustrates what white privilege is. Although people are saying that there is something called the "minority privilege" as well. 

As a member of the minority, I believe that it is good to be aware of our privileges and to make sure to use our privilege to help others but a message that segregates other individuals based on their race, sex, gender, and physical attributes is counter-productive.

I love Canada and how multi-cultural it is. However, I believe that everyone of us have a tendency to be racist, except we don't say it out loud for fear of being labeled "racist". Attacks on white people, saying they have everything they have because they are white is wrong. Although studies have shown that just being white will make you healthier than compared to coloured counterparts with the same annual income.

My point is, there is no point trying to bash groups or individuals in an effort to make an awareness that there is inequality in our society. Arguing the white privilege versus the minority privilege is pointless. There will always be inequality. There will always be someone that is smarter than us, more fit than us, more attractive than us, more wealthy than us, more people who have it better than us. We can't always cry out foul and scream "inequality". 

As a member of a minority, all I can do is work my ass off to become the person I want to be without holding a grudge on other people who has it better than me. Even I have some privilege, I am from a middle income family who lives in a first world country. Should I feel bad for my fortune because there are people living in poverty in war-stricken countries? It is not my fault that I am in this position, but I am able to be in a position to help others.

But then again, you have to help in a way to make other people independent. You can't just give people hand-offs, they have to work for it. Providing people money to buy necessities is a short-term fix. Instead, we should invest in businesses to provide these individuals with jobs so that they can have a life. 

Having some privileges is not something to be ashamed off, it's something to be proud of.




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Image taken from ninapaley.com
This is just my opinion
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