By Amber Bhatnagar
Being inclusive of all races, genders and sexualities is vital on a college campus, especially now that we’re living in the midst of yet another surge in the Black Lives Matter movement.
As the topic of racial injustice continues, it is crucial that we prioritize becoming educated in order to effect change, both internal and external.
With the significant influx of educational resources and information about acknowledging white privilege posted on social media, I’ve learned it’s important to use my white-passing privilege for good and not just repost Instagram stories thinking I’ve done my part.
It’s more than posting aesthetically pleasing graphics — it’s about standing up for change so that we may live in a world where everyone is equal.
I’m half Indian and half white, but I grew up in a white household surrounded by people who didn’t acknowledge their privilege and held very closed-minded beliefs. I often felt like the odd one out in my white family because of my brown skin tone. But it is a privilege to be half-white. I must acknowledge that and use my voice to make a difference.
Since I haven’t ever been directly oppressed or discriminated against, it’s not my place to tell others what to and not to do. All I can do is educate my friends and family and give a voice when I can to those who deserve it because human rights should not be political; they should be a given.
Acknowledging your privilege and learning to be inclusive while in college is important to create a shared and welcoming space for those who deserve it equally. In a world that keeps repeating history, we need to finally break the cycle of racism and oppression.
You can acknowledge your privilege by educating yourself on the vast history of systematic and institutionalized racism. Read books and articles, watch documentaries or YouTube videos, enroll in classes that will challenge your point of view and don’t be afraid to call out peers who use racist language. Be an active listener.
White privilege in college means you never have to worry about not getting into a college or being excluded from social clubs on campus simply because of your skin color and I think it’s important to acknowledge that. However, those two injustices don’t even brush the surface of what our Black and Brown fellow students go through.
We must do better to stand up to institutions and organizations that partake in systemic racism. As students at a highly privileged university, it’s our job to make sure our own institution, and all the organizations that we’re a part of, learn to be inclusive and supportive of minorities.
Until then, we can never approach liberty and justice for all.