I am a young American female of the middle class with German and Mexican heritage. I live in a home with no financial issues and married parents. Mental illness runs in my family, as do other impactful medical issues. I myself have a ligament deformation that requires me to be dependent on muscle relaxers so I’m able to make it through the day without excruciating pain. I do not consider myself to be overly religious. However, I was raised in a Lutheran home. Occasionally I will attend church, even if only for the sake of my parents. I believe myself to be stereotyped as a white female, and due to that I am perceived as privileged and as someone who does not have any problems, which is very true in some aspects of my life. But, I do suffer in other ways. Even if it is in a way no one can really witness. I know that the position I’m in shapes how I view the world.
I believe it is very important to be informed, and this drive for knowledge and my privileged position in life has allowed me the freedom to do as I please, within reason. Something I took away from the in class activity is that people of different races and nationalities suffer in a way I will never have to in the United States. Hearing about one of my fellow classmates being detained and questioned by police for just matching the description of a ‘black male’ made me feel disappointed in the judicial and class system that has formed as a result of consistent and deeply rooted racial tension.
My position is one of privilege. I can in no way experience the prejudice that others may face, even though we may be of the same Scace 2 academic level, standing within society, or financial income. With that said, I can never go through life with the same struggles others might experience. A large majority of people never assume I am a minority in any form except for being a woman, because I appear caucasian, unlike some of my classmates who are immediately identified as a minority once they’ve been observed by someone. I will never be seen as minority to others because to many, I appear white, which in and of itself is actually very presumptuous. So, myself and classmates all experience stereotyping; but in very different ways, and to different extents.
In my belief, consequences of not adapting communication for others leads to assuming superiority. This leads to major unproductivity, the reason being that an individual limits themselves to only a population of people they feel are relatable because of either common nationality, race, ideals, and any other identifying factors that contribute to themselves. Understanding that there are differences and similarities between myself and others allows for me to better myself as an individual and grow from this in my communication. Through this assignment I should now be able to limit my assumptions. When I do assume, I should be mindful as to stop and recognize that what I am doing is wrong and very insensitive towards others.
Main lesson is to treat others how you want to be treated. Very simple words to live by. Specific strategies to develop knowledge of how to adapt to others can be obtained by just asking questions; Having an open dialogue can open up many doors and be very enlightening to some. I feel it is better to ask, you may have a few minutes of potential awkwardness, but it’s worth it to become informed rather than to assume differences, superiority, or similarities. Listening and taking the time to be better informed on a topic can be helpful for years to come. Even though I don’t necessarily feel like I live a largely privileged life, I realize there are some aspects of my life I can’t help but be privileged in. I need to be able to take the time to listen and truly understand others’ perspective and struggles in life so I can make sure I am an ally to people that are largely put down, rather than just sitting on the sideline overseeing and doing nothing.
In conclusion, everyone deserves respect, even when one may not understand the ideals, race, ethnicity, and other factors that contribute to an individual’s identity.