The Power of Privilege

Each day I am constantly learning. I learn from being in class and from my experiences as a human. Lately, there have been terrible events I have been part of or have witnessed. It seems that when people want to express their belief or opinion, they are attacked by others who don’t hold the same opinion or belief. The people who are voicing their thoughts are never saying, “YOU MUST BELIEVE WHAT I SAY” but others are being offended and playing the victim. Remember that thing called an amendment that talks about freedom of speech, yeah, that’s what people who voice their opinion are doing and others can go against that. But the big issue here is that hate speech and threats are now being used as a form of backlash for those who are voicing their opinions.

I recently posted a video on Facebook regarding privilege. In this video, people lined up for a race. The man who oversaw this race told the contestants that he would ask a series of questions before the race began. If the answer was yes for those participating, then those people took 2 steps forward. This put some people at an advantage to win the race and others at a disadvantage. These questions weren’t relating to anything those in the race could have controlled because it all was dealing with their parents and factors they couldn’t change. I posted this video because I thought it was a great way to explain privilege and how sometimes people are put in more of a position of power than others because of factors they are born into.

Once I posted this, I had some positive feedback, but I don’t post things looking for affirmation. I post things to my Facebook that I believe in and that I think are important to the world we live in today. After these positive comments, I received a long comment from a cousin of mine whom I’ve only met (maybe) 3 times. She was saying that this video was bullshit and that she doesn’t want to live in a world where everyone has equal opportunity. She went on to say how although only two of the things mentioned in the video applied to her, she still was doing well for herself. She called herself a victim. I responded and told her that no one is a victim. This video was made to show how those who aren’t born into a life of privilege can still do great things because the people at the back of the line in the video still ran just as hard as those in the front. My cousin refused to see my side of things and kept coming at me with hateful words. This Facebook post then turned into her calling me a “snob who sits behind a computer that my college debt paid for.”

I was furious and shocked that she couldn’t open her mind and try to understand. Close minded people in our world is what hurts our society. I never said my cousin needed to agree with me, I simply asked her to open her mind and see where I might be coming from, but instead got called names.

No one knows anyone else’s story; therefore no one has a right to judge one another but we live in this world where people always want to attack others for believing in something. Just because someone doesn’t agree, doesn’t mean they can’t at least try to understand and educate themselves on the issue at hand. I want to live in a world where people shouldn’t have to fear speaking their thoughts into existence. I want to live in a world where people can be open minded and understanding of other’s situations, but I know this won’t be possible unless we all work together and right now we are not working together. We are fighting each other right now on anything and everything we possibly can.