Minorities and allies are stronger together

CRISTINA FLORES; Guest Writer; florescb@plu.edu

Students have expressed a variety of different emotions after the election: disgust, fear, anger and frustration. These valid, real emotions appear everywhere, from social media to dinner conversations, and have brought people out to support and comfort their friends in these tough times.

Many post-election Facebook posts express well-founded concerns about the President-elect’s ideals, white privilege and oppression. These posts are right in many ways: it is important to call out those who want to maintain their high status in life by unapologetically destroying the hopes of minorities.

Speaking from my experience as a bisexual Hispanic woman, nothing pisses me off more than when people fail to recognize their power and influence, claiming that “immigrants are stealing our jobs” and “Muslims are nothing but terrorists.”

After hearing yet another case of police brutality, after another delay on immigration reform, after another microaggression or harmful generalization against minorities, it’s easy for many of us with marginalized identities to see anyone from the majority as someone bad, someone who benefits from keeping us tied down.

While our anger and hurt are justified, it is crucial not to feel resentment towards our allies that want to help our cause.

We can’t expect to get anywhere in this battle fighting fire with fire. If we’re shouting out that all white people are bad, that all able-bodied people are bad, that all of the people in the majority must have contributed in some way to our suffering, we won’t get anywhere. We have allies out there who recognize the privilege that they have and want to use it to help make our voices stronger.

Feel free to call out the people who trivialize your struggles. Call out the people who unabashedly insult you or make you feel lesser.

But as for the people who are in the majority who want to genuinely help and learn about our struggles, let’s bring them in with us. Let’s fight together.

We can’t expect much progress if we push the majority away because they won’t understand why it’s so important, especially now, for them to fight with us if we keep on attacking them for their privilege.

It is crucial for all of us to unite against blatant ignorance and hatred.

For the people in the majority, please take the time to reflect and be thankful for all of the opportunities you’ve been granted in life. Selflessly use the benefits that you’ve been given. Help the people proud to claim ignorance within your demographic see the harm in their actions and open their eyes to the world around them. Fight with us, learn more about our diverse cultures and don’t be afraid to put yourselves in our shoes.

We are stronger together. The more people we have on our side coming forward against oppression, the better shot we have for ensuring a brighter and happier future with fairness for all.

Leave a Reply