I am the walking definition of privilege. Not only because I am white, but because I come from a home with two parents who have provided me with every opportunity possible in this world. I am also Canadian.
As Canadians, regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status, we have an abundance of free privileges ranging from free health care, a relatively safe country, infrastructure, and more work opportunities than many. However, as multicultural and open-minded as we would like to consider our country, many often try to do the polite thing and remain silent. Today, silence means indifference. That is a problem.
“Silence is the new racism”
It is headlines like these that have flooded our feeds and news outlets for days. Like many of you, I have hesitated and struggled with many of the following internal battles. I don’t have a huge platform, I am not an influencer, what difference am I going to make? Do I repost a photo, a quote, or a donation link? Will it seem disingenuous if I do because of my privilege? Am I then making it about me? Simultaneously, if I choose not to openly discuss it on my platform, am I a part of the problem?
I am privileged, but I am not silent. Is that uncomfortable? Maybe, but it’s what is right. I urge anyone who is fighting this same internal battle to simply take one small step in the right direction, whether that be to educate themselves, start a conversation with a family member or close friend, google Jane Elliot or Leyla Saad, retweet a post, or share an Instagram story. These small individual actions will culminate to something bigger.
Although social media has its flaws and challenges, it also has an unprecedented power. It is in times like these that these outlets are a blessing. I urge you to utilise your platform, your outreach, your voice, and help educate your communities, whether you reach five people or 5 million. It is important that beyond reposting those stories or donating to one of the many organizations, we keep the conversation going, and that we educate ourselves and acknowledge that the inequality subconsciously exists. It is important that we do our part in our daily lives to strive to be better, to face the inequality head on, and to put forth action behind our words. If not for yourself and your community, then for the next generation.