I recently attended the Student Life Multicultural Center’s presentation “Who am I? Who are You? Who are We?” During this presentation we broadened our knowledge of specific terms, as well as redefined the vibes and assumptions our culture surrounds privilege with.
I was able to learn more about commonly used terms to expand my understanding of diversities and identities. Included in this I learned that the term Latinx is used to incorporate people in the Latinx community that do not identify with binary genders. I also learned to differentiate between prejudice, discrimination and oppression. Prejudice is inherent and preconceived thoughts or feelings towards specific identities . Discrimination is acting on these notions, and oppression is a mixture of prejudice and power, and can occur on a macro or larger level.
The speaker in the “Who am I? Who are You? Who are We?” presentation spent a lot of time talking about the connotations surrounding the word “privileged” in our society and culture, and we spoke about how being privileged is just not having to encounter specific situations because of something out of your control. We also spoke about the guilt surrounded by being “traditionally privileged” and that no one is completely privileged.
A diagram was shown listing privileged and minoritized categories and I was surprised on the overlap between the two. As an example, one of the “privileged” identities was being a feminine female, while in the minorotized category was solely just being a women. This was a reminder that privilege is not the stereotypical vision most of us associate with the word. We also discussed how it is easier to speak out when you’re privileged (straight person speaking out about homophobic), and the abilities a privileged person has to use their privilege to help the minorotized.
I also learned why the term “minorotized” is preferred over “minorities”. There are two main reasons. The first of which is that people we often refer to as minorotized are often not minorities, like how there are more women than men in the world, but we still consider woman a minority. While people may be a minority in their community they may not be a minority on the global level.
The use of the word minorotized also makes being a minority an action that is done onto the minority. It is not a fault of their own, but the result of prejudice, discrimination and oppression. By using the term minorotized we are showing that being a minority is at no fault of the minorotized.
The “Who am I? Who are You? Who are We?” speaker introduced a new, more broad way of thinking about diversity and privilege. I was able to expand my knowledge on some communities and cultures that I am not specifically a part of, as well as engage in discussions among my peers about our privilege, and are minority status. The speaker created a very welcoming and safe enviroment for this type of conversation, which is probably the most important thing to do when seeking out conversations about this subject.