Some Protesters Might Be Offending People And Not Even Know It. That's Why Everyone Should See This
This definition of "privilege" is so spot-on.
People from all walks of life are coming together to protest the events surrounding the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. But joining forces is not always productive if those involved are not educated on the issues and their roles.
That's why YouTuber Franchesca Ramsey is weighing in with five tips for allies wanting to help the cause.
"An ally is a person who wants to fight for the equality of a marginalized group that they are not a part of," says Ramsey in her video.
Her tips for being an ally include: Be a good listener, do your homework about the issues you are fighting for or against, and act as a supporter rather than a front-runner so your voice doesn't overpower the very voices you are fighting for to be heard.
But one of the most poignant things Ramsey says to allies is "understand your privilege."
If you don't know what that means, you are not alone.
'Privilege does not mean that you are rich, that you've had an easy life, that everything's been handed to you and you've never had to struggle or work hard," says Ramsey. "All it means is that there are some things in life that you will not experience, or ever have to think about, just because of who you are."
To better explain the concept, she uses the analogy of a horse wearing blinders. The horse is unaware anything exists in its periphery thanks to the visual obstructors. Privilege works in much the same way, as a person born into a majority group might be unaware of inequalities that do not affect them.
For example, Ramsey points out there are currently 29 states where it is legal to fire someone for being gay. If you are straight, you might not even know whether your state is included on that list.
And that, my friends, is privilege.
So the moral of the story is to educate yourself, educate yourself, and educate yourself some more.
Because before you fight for the rights of others, you must understand the rights you have that they don't.
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