Is the color of your skin white? Are you a male? Where you born in this country? Financially stable? Heterosexual? Abled bodied? Are you a Christian? If you answered yes to some or most to any of these traits, you are considered “privileged.” Sure, you can help these attributes and it’s not your fault you experience these privileges; but what’s important is, whether you realize it or not, you benefit from it.
Yes, people! The year is 2015 and people are still struggling to get ahead because the lack of these qualities. Although a civil rights act was put in place in 1964 as well as an affirmative action to ban employment discrimination and provide equal opportunities for minority groups; research continues to play a part in hiring decisions. In this Economic Policy Institute study, research demonstrated that employers will hire a person of white male with a criminal record, before they even consider a black male without a record.
I had the privilege to have this debate with a colleague, explaining to him that he doesn’t have to live how others live – to which he denies. In a diversity and ethics class; the professor play a clip of white boys vandalizing a vehicle; but what calls get reported to authority is eye opening. This was not surprising to me because these are issues I experience; however, what was surprising to me, was that all the white individuals in the class were surprise that racism still exists. Video after video, article after article, and study after study still demonstrates that inequality still exists and how you are perceived by society.
In our book; Mainwairing talks about the triple bottom line and how corporations need to start contributing to the economy. Brené Brown gave a speech on TED talks about the power of vulnerability and connectivity. People are afraid to talk about such issues and thus becomes silent issue. I am tired of be judged by the perception of what I have been blessed with and ready to break the silence of inequality we deal with in today’s society. While conversations around social justice issues has evolved from the 1960s; it still is a greater issue that needs to be talked about and addressed. Together we have the collective power to be a witness for justice. Write community leaders, legislators, and policymakers and let your voice be heard to make shifts in political climate towards social agenda that serves the common good. Love with our whole heart.