How straight White males can help change the world

You may think — what an interesting title considering most of the revolutionary figures who have had an influential impact on human rights challenges in history have been people of color. Yet, in this world where racism is as prevalent as ever, I think it’s beyond time more White people step up to the plate and use their place in society to provoke change.

Straight White males are the least discriminated against in society and they hold a lot of power and influence over this nation. Males don’t face sexism; Straight males don’t face homophobia; White males don’t face racism.

So, when you combine all of those attributes of a person, they have life pretty damn easy as far as lack of discrimination and heightened privilege go.

My theory is, if more straight White males would stand up for minority communities that are affected by discrimination and hate, wouldn’t other straight White males who are the root cause of a lot of the hate be more susceptible to listen? Because, clearly their sexism, homophobia and racism make them unwilling to listen to any women, LGBTQ people, or people of color.

So, straight White males — please stand up. Use your voice. Use your privilege. When you are surrounded by your White colleagues who are racist, homophobic or sexist, speak up for those communities and engage them in conversation. Make them listen.

Use your privilege and power in society to give a voice to those communities who have no voice.

I know that it can be scary and uncomfortable to talk about inequality, oppression and discrimination — especially as a straight White man. But, the reason why it’s so scary… is because no one talks about it. You’re worried that you’ll be judged and attacked, or possibly offend people who are affected by discrimination. So you avoid it. You play it safe.

Some of you feel that people are making all straight White men out to be complete monsters, who are all racist, homophobic and sexist. But, for one, why do you care so much about what others think of you? And secondly, nobody said “ALL” men; we are talking about SOME. Stop playing the victim, because you are far from one.

We know that most of you are not being sexist, homophobic or racist, but that’s just it…we need to talk about the ones that are.

Just because you may be one of the “good guys”, doesn’t mean we need to ignore the rest of the straight White men who are not “good guys”, simply to preserve your reputation and ego.

And even if you are one of the “good guys”, if you are not speaking up and using your privilege to shine a light on oppressed communities, that kind of makes you a participant in systematic discrimination anyways…so, you should start speaking up now.

Besides, if you did care about ridding our world of sexism, racism and homophobia, you would truly not give a damn what people say about straight White men…in fact, you would agree. Let’s not forget that I am a White women, yet I completely agree and don’t get all “sensitive and offended” when people speak truth on the hate coming from White people. Oh, I mean…some White people. Hope I didn’t offend.

To sum it up, 
Straight White men: speak up, or shut up.

Make an effort, not assumptions

Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. — Albert Einstein

As I watched the imperfectly chaotic Mediterranean waves off the coast of Spain this summer, I came to a great realization: people are different.

Just like people, the waves of the ocean appear in many different colors, shapes and sizes, yet they are all beautifully composed of the same water.

It’s sounds like a simple and obvious thought, yet sometimes I don’t know if people actually realize and accept the fact that we are ALL different. People want other people to be like them. We love finding similarities with others because it’s comforting to be around people who are just like us.

But, in all honesty, expecting people to be so similar to you is outrageously unrealistic.

In fact, when you meet someone next, expect that person to be completely different from you. That way, you let go of all your false expectations and can learn to embrace other’s differences.

Admiring people’s differences should be an interest and a love of ours. After all, life would be boring if we were all the same. Wouldn’t the ocean not appear to be so beautiful and intriguing if all the waves were the exact same? Appreciate the different qualities that people have — both physical traits and personality-wise.

• • •

When we meet new people, there are certain stereotypical assumptions that never fail to pop into our minds. We see somebody overweight and assume they don’t workout and are lazy. We see a woman with a very short haircut and masculine clothing and assume her sexual preference. 

Assumptions happen. Frequently. But, the problem is…many people don’t make any effort to see if those assumptions are even true. They don’t make the effort to get to know someone and instead hold onto those assumptions as if they already know every little thing about that person.

We all judge. It’s a proven fact that judgements naturally occur in our minds before even getting to know somebody. That is okay. What is not okay is acting on those judgements and firmly believing them to be true. 

There is a stark difference between understanding and assuming. Understanding takes effort. Assuming is an easy process that can be done within seconds.

Focus on making an actionable effort to understand others, rather than relying on your unreliable presumptions. Listen to people, learn who they are. True understanding of a person is blind.