Here's Why You Need to Educate Your White Voice

This isn’t what we signed up for. Plain and simple. I never thought that coming to college would look like asking my mom if the fabric I picked out at Jo-Anns would work in her sewing machine to make the masks that I loop around my ears every morning, and I definitely never thought that morality and ethics would be anything more than a discussion topic for a seminar. I mean, I’m a Biology major for crying out loud; my focus should be on the components of synovial fluid, not on analyzing whether my friendships stand in line with my own morals in a time where human rights have been called into question. 

But, here we are. Standing in the middle of the minefield that 2020 has created around us, and that is what we need to do. It is so easy to attend a Predominantly White Institution like Christopher Newport University and get comfortable with privilege, but the reality is that the privileges experienced on our campus are not a genuine reflection of the human experience.

liberty and justice for all protest sign Photo by Logan Weaver from Unsplash

It’s easy for us to draw a line in the sand and say that politics shouldn’t dictate who should and shouldn’t be our friends when the politics in question have no personal effect on you as an individual. But think about the rights and experiences that are on the table right now, are they a reflection of your identities? Do you identify as transgender? Are you a minority? Are you struggling with poverty? If your answers are no, have you been educating yourself about the plights of these individuals? Have you been paying attention to the communities that are under attack, and have you been supporting them? 

And by asking these questions, I’m not trying to pretend I’m perfect, or that you need to be. I get it. I’m taking 17 credits, working a part time job, and balancing my responsibilities to the organizations that I love. It’s not always easy to be consuming media on these topics, but little by little, listening to the voices of those who have been silenced is imperative to checking your privilege and acknowledging that the world is bigger than the columns of McMurran to the columns at CNH. 

racism is a pandemic protest sign Photo by Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona from Unsplash