It's been a hard week in college communities across our nation. It breaks my heart people feel unsafe to study and learn in the institutions they put their trust in. We need change in our society. That is obvious. What that change looks like, who should change, and how are less obvious though. I can sit in my comfortable home and pray for peace, weep for the injustice, and hope for a better tomorrow and then go back to paying my bills and doing my laundry. I have learned that this is privilege. I wouldn't have called it that 20 years ago.
I grew up in a nice neighborhood with good schools and little crime. I was also unmercifully bullied, awkward, and financially broke too. I knew I had to excel at school to get a scholarship to go to college because I couldn't afford to go otherwise. At that time I would have said that to call me privileged was ridiculous. I worked hard to get to where I wanted to go. But going to college provided an opportunity for me to begin to change. I learned that being privileged was not about being me, as an individual, at all. It was about swimming in a system that sees white people as normal. I am not a bad person because I am privileged. I am stuck in a broken system that views me as somehow better than others just because of how I look. I want to change that system. It hurts me too. I am grateful for all of those who have actively or inadvertently taught me that. I am listening because I want to continue to learn.
“I believe our education system as a whole has not integrated the histories of all people into our education system, just the Eurocentric view of itself, and the White-centered view of African Americans, and even this is slim to nonexistent. What I find is that most people don't know the fact they don't know, because of the complete lack of information.” ― Ronald Takaki,