Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Here is popular Guest Blogger Emma Samuelson with a discussion of some of the very hot topics in today's world!
Emma is a recent college graduate from California who writes her own songs, sings and plays guitar. Check out the excellent music and ASL videos on her YouTube channel! In Emma's own words, "I am a spiritual person and I love music, listening to it, creating it, and everything about it." Her love of music is obvious in her videos!
Please use this link to see a list of ALL guest blog posts by Emma Samuelson.
Now, let's see what Emma's thoughts are, on Privilege. Have you thought about this yourself? Is there something about who you are, which you have no control over, that affects your life? Is there something that should be done to reduce inequality in the world? Can we achieve Social Justice? Is it right to allow the capitalist system to make some people very wealthy if their innovation helps us all? What can we do about violence in Syria and around the world and should the United States get involved? What can you do, personally, to improve the world?
Continue on. Read Emma's thoughts on these matters. Watch the videos she mentions. Think.
The Awareness of Privilege
Privilege. It’s something we come across everyday in our own lives, but sometimes it’s hard to recognize for those that have a lot of it. I, personally, have become much more aware of my privilege since turning 18. It’s not like I wasn’t aware I was privileged growing up, but as I stepped into adulthood and attended a San Francisco college that focuses on social justice amidst the Black Lives Matter movement and ever-growing gentrification… I became hyper aware of my own privilege.
As a middle class white woman, I stand in a very privileged spot. I had the privilege of getting a free education K-12, I had the privilege of being sent to a private, Jesuit college, and I have the privilege of still being a dependent on my parents bill as I turn 22. I am eternally grateful for my education and my parents for making this a possibility for me. I recognize that the opportunity for this kind of education is slim for many people in our world, a sad truth I think about a lot as a recent college graduate.
This is the big stuff… education, financial stability, and a web of support. However, privilege is not just the big stuff. Privilege is having clean water, it’s having access to food, it’s having a bed. These are the things we need to think about.
In the current state of the world, many people are becoming more and more aware of just how privilege affects their daily lives. Sometimes, I just take a moment to be grateful that I have shoes to put on that day. Little reminders like this can be a great lesson in how to recognize your own privilege and a lesson in how to be grateful for it.
Despite these little helpful reminders, sometimes privilege is totally overlooked. People casually listen to stories on the radio and in the news about millions of people losing their homes, their country, and even their loved ones due to injustice… sometimes a reminder is not enough. In the real world right now, thousands of Syrians are displaced and being forced into refugee status, they have lost so much and yet countries like the United States are not doing enough to help. People in general are not doing enough. If it’s hard to imagine something like this happening in your country, it won’t be after watching this Save The Children PSA. This video documents a young girl’s life day by day for a year as she is impacted by a civil war (simulating Syria’s events).
This is real, and it can be difficult to absorb but I believe it is important. It is vital to understand your privilege, to understand that you have so many advantages in your daily life. Regardless of where you stand, everyone is affected by privilege and everyone deals with it.
In the United States, media, film and television generally reinforce stereotypes of different races, ethnicities, classes, genders and ages. However, even though many of these stereotypes and controlling images of people are not true, they still are somewhat honest in how people are treated in our society. I do not agree with any of the stereotypes I see portrayed in film and television, but I have seen scenes in television shows that I have experienced in real life.
This is where awareness totally changes the game. For example, I am aware that a lot of people in our society view LGBT people as sinners, as deviants, as 'unnatural people making poor choices’… but I have also seen real people treat real LGBT people like that is the truth. As a bisexual woman, I have been harassed, bullied and degraded because of that part of my identity… and I see the same thing happening to my fellow LGBT people on television. It makes me feel like the media understands what I go through, but at the same time it reinforces that truth. I do not want to live in a world where people are treated differently based on their identities, I want to live in a world of equality, of justice, a world where everyone has opportunity, where privilege doesn’t separate us.
Awareness can change everything, it can help us come together and let go of inequality. Buzzfeed contributed to this awareness, and had people do an activity based on self-identified privilege. Although reading about it and watching videos is helpful in understanding your privilege, doing something like what Buzzfeed did really puts it into perspective.
Anyone can have a difficult time discussing privilege. It is not an easy topic, but it can open the doors for more deeper conversations about our society and how we want to evolve. Doing an activity like this is a powerful way to look at privilege, it can open your eyes to just how much you can be grateful for. It can shift your consciousness from your individual world to the global need for change. It can dramatically reduce your record of complaining. It can lead to new friendships, new opportunities, and new ways of giving back and supporting the evolution of the world. Regardless of where your final position is, awareness can lead to action, and action can lead to change. Check your privilege, every single day.
Labels: Black Lives Matter, bullying, Buzzfeed, clean water, Cyber Bully, education, Emma Samuelson, emmalane94, feminism, gender, inequality, LGBT, privilege, race, refugee, religion, social justice, stereotypes, Syria, War
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