My uncle is an average white male. He is 5’10, 180lbs, and lives in a suburban neighborhood in St George. He makes $120,000/yr and graduated with his masters from BYU. He has 3 kids and goes to church every week. He is what you could call the average white American. His problem is that he is ignorant. He doesn’t believe that privilege exists. He thinks that because he had to work hard to get where he is at in life that others of minorities just use privilege as an excuse to not work hard. He fully believes that if he acknowledges the existence of white privilege that it will discredit him and all the hard things he has done to get to where he is at in life.
To me this is so funny because I am also white, I have also done a lot of hard things and have a lot of achievements but I do believe white privilege is a thing. It’s almost impossible to turn the blind eye and ignore the facts about white privilege. When I hear these horror stories about children being arrested because of their color, and people being murdered because somebody thought they were armed I just feel absolutely sick. I almost feel a sense of guilt too, because being white I have never experienced these things before. I have lived as a majority my entire life. Not once have I have been scared or fearful because of the color of my skin.
I think the way we can better educate about white privilege is to educate. We educate by talking about difficult things more often. We can educate by giving voice to those who don’t have a voice. When talk more about this and raise awareness in the communities we live in it helps make the minorities feel more comfortable. If we can make minorities feel like they are the majority then we will have done our part well and that is our goal.
Identity is such an interesting topic. As a little boy, I was always told by adults that had their lives completely figured out that I needed to figure out who I was. They said to me that junior high was the most important time in life because my friends will help determine who I was going to become. They said the same about high school and college. One thing that I think I have realized as I have grown up is that we are always self-identifying and that it can change. How I identified myself as a 12-year-old has changed as a 24-year-old. It’s not necessarily a good or bad change, it’s just different. One thing that is also interesting is that my identity has stayed the same as well. My skin color hasn’t changed in 12 years. My nationality hasn’t changed. However, my parents got divorced when I was 14 and that changed part of my identity. Within 2 years I had cracked my skull, broken my jaw, fractured my ribs, and torn ligaments in my shoulder. These negative things changed how I identified. I am the first sibling in my family to attend and graduate college. I was the first sibling to get a full-time job and stick with it for more than 3 months. (this is important because I have an older sister that has a tough time with keeping jobs). I became self-dependent without having to rely on others first. All of these positive things helped me identify myself. Yet, when I am asked what is my identity, who am I, I still have trouble answering. There are so many parts of who I am and so many layers of my identity that I think a complicated answer to such a question deserves a long and thought out answer.
I have been thinking about the 2 hours of service that I have so far and the thing I have learned is that meeting with students who don’t seem like they want to meet, is very difficult. I can’t force the ESL students to meet with me, but I also do try and push to meet with them. The reason I haven’t tried to work with refugees yet is that I tore my ACL and am still in the process of healing. I did work with an associate about a year ago at Google that worked hand in hand with refugees. I plan on reaching out to him in order to find more opportunities for service.
Babakiueria brings up so many issues that have to do with racism and everything that the word entails. One of the most surprising things to me is how the treatment of the people was justified because the governor of the affairs said it was for the government so it was fine. I think this applies really well to modern-day society and problems that we have today, An example of this is when somebody is pulled over by the police it is a law that you have both hands on the wheel for the officer’s safety. What is funny though is that law is flexible depending on the color of your skin. If you African American it is a firm law and things can get really out of hand if you don’t obey this law. If you are caucasian however it is not necessarily a rule more just like a guideline. I think the way that we can tackle issues such as these is by bringing awareness to them and talking about them.