Privilege and Voice

I'm very white and very privileged.

I grew up the youngest daughter of a couple who broke their respective cycles of poverty, illiteracy, and abuse.

My parents placed a lot of emphasis on education. My dad and my mom are both well-educated and educators in their own right.

I've never been pulled over by a cop and treated unfairly. I've never had someone attempt to take advantage of my illiteracy or poor education. The only time I have ever worked a minimum wage job was while I was a student in high school. I have never been truly hungry. I have never been abandoned. I have never been under constant threat of physical, sexual, verbal, or psychological abuse. I have never been looked down on because of my nationality, race, or class.

I MAY have been judged for my gender or because I identify as a Christian...but never to the point that I have truly felt discriminated against.

I am the epitome of privileged.

My husband is. My daughters are. Most of the people I know are. So, when I talk about social justice issues and equality issues - it is not from a place of total understanding. I can't truly understand what the oppressed and disenfranchised feel or experience on a second-by-second basis.

However, I can use my very white, upper-middle-class, privileged voice for good. And I have tried to on a few occasions.

So, today. I am meandering in my writing after having read an article in the Washington Post concerning the killing of possibly thousands by Boko Haram in Nigeria. I am heart broken and stunned. I am saddened and enraged. I feel helpless. The past months alone have brought stories into my news feed that can only be attributed to wickedness. Men, women, parties, peoples wanting to make themselves bigger, more powerful than the weak and using violence in an attempt to do so. Stories that center around systemic corruption, discrimination, weakness, and just plain hate are what I read on a daily basis. Plain ugliness: Mass shootings, the race tensions in the US, instability across the Middle East, Africa beings tormented by Ebola and terrorism.

Because I write a small little measly blog with a grand total of 17 followers. My small voice doesn't reach the ears of the upper echelon or those who are currently in power. My voice doesn't even reach the masses. My voice reaches my circle. My small, little circle of influence. What's a heartbroken and confused first-world, white girl to do? What are WE to do?

I am praying. I am praying for those who are not ridiculously privileged like my completely undeserving self. I'm praying for peace, for justice, for God's Kingdom to be brought to earth through His people doing the right thing.

I am giving. I am researching and giving to organizations that I think are truly working to help the oppressed. International Justice Mission and Compassion International are among a few that I support.

I am looking locally. We just moved, but where can I be a voice locally to work towards change? How can I get involved? How can I use my skill set?

I am thinking about the BIG picture and calling on people in power to lift up their eyes. Open your eyes and see the injustice that is all around us! You, governments and kings, lift up your eyes. Who do the big policies and the big corporations and the big lobbying groups speak for? They do not represent the people.

I know this isn't my general shtick. It's not my generally niche. But My heart hurts for the thousands, no millions, of lives that have been lost to oppression and hate and discrimination. I'm not at a loss, but I am at a boiling point.

What else can we do?

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