I’ll Stand by You

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As a female, I have seen my share of discrimination. I have dealt with sexual harassment. I have fought hard to be seen for me and not for what stereotypes follow me. However, though I have had my struggles, as a white person, I also know that my struggles are nothing in comparison to the struggles that many of my friends (and others) have faced and are still facing.

I saw an article yesterday about “White Feminism,” and how it is hurting the cause simply because white women are not lifting up those around them who are not white. At first, I felt defensive because it’s not all of us who are failing to do that, but then I realized that I can’t be offended because it is happening.

There are times that my privilege (both being white and being straight) blinds me from fully understanding the struggles of others. But, I will say that for those of you who do not have the luxury of my privilege, I will and I am fighting for you always.

As a feminist, I will always fight for equality… among genders, races, religions/non-religion, sexual orientation, etc. I will always fight for what is right… and not because it’s my opinion, but because it is truly right.

Though the “White Feminism” thing disturbed me, what disturbs me most is that there are people in this world who are facing much worse. There are still people in this country that are constantly fighting to just get the same basic rights that we already have… fighting for their lives… fighting to just be seen as human.

The fighting is everywhere, and most easily seen on social media. When I see an article or story where people are pointing out the injustices of the world, the comments inevitably follow it are enough to make anyone shake their heads. The name-calling, swearing, and bullying are nothing more than high school-level idiocy.

“Snowflakes” is a term that people are using to describe those that are easily triggered or offended, and it is used quite a bit towards Liberals or anyone liberally minded. Here’s the thing: expressing an opinion that all people should have the same rights is not being triggered… it’s actually one of the core values of being an American.

One of the things that makes this nation so great is that we’re not simply one type of person. We’re a melting pot of cultures, religions, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, etc. Just because “White Straight People” may be the majority does not mean that the country is meant to solely benefit them.

There is no “War on Christianity.” Christians are not being persecuted simply because the world is asking you to be a good person and accept that people are not going to be the same as you. You were forced to bake a cake for a gay couple? Oh.my.God. At least 7 Transgender women have already been murdered this year, and 27 transgender people were murdered last year—most of them were POC. And you want to throw a fit about not being told “Merry Christmas,” red Starbucks cups, and baking a cake? You want to complain about being thought to be privileged?

The thing is, people are dying. People are being murdered, and we watch, horrified, from our couches. Then, we flip to Netflix to catch up on our latest binge. We do that because we can. We can escape the horrors of the world because they are not really affecting us.

What kind of person is able to look at pictures of children starving, screaming, and crying in a warzone and still be able to say “Don’t let them come here!”? The kind of person that can lock their doors at night and feel safe.

We can roll our eyes at protestors and scoff at “Black Lives Matter” because, I mean, really All Lives Matter, right? Do they?

Your words are saying one thing but your actions are saying something else entirely. You see, the world we live in is clearly showing us that not all lives matter, only those that the majority deem worthy to be cared about.

Just last week, two Indian men were shot in Kansas by a man yelling “Get out of my country!” One of these men died… not because he had done anything wrong, but because the color of his skin and his accent showed him as different.

Earlier this week, Ciara McElveen was stabbed to death in New Orleans. She worked on health care outreach for the homeless. She was also a black Transgender woman. She was the second black transgender woman to be murdered in New Orleans in three days (Chyna Gibson was the other), and the 7th of the year in this country.

There have been 100 bomb threats to Jewish centers… this year. Why? Anti-Semitism

There have been 4 Mosques that have been set on fire this year. Why? Islamophobia

These are true, real threats to people’s lives, and these barely scratch the surface of what some people are facing in the United States (and the world) right now. LGBT, POC, and many others are facing daily threats to their lives.

Their worries are not about people not wishing them a happy day or what color cup they are carrying their latte in. They are more worried about hiding the target on their back. They are worried about walking down the street. They are worried about going to their place of worship. They are worried about kissing the one they love in public. They are worried about staying alive.

These are real fears. This is real persecution. The fact that you can roll your eyes at violence and rant on Facebook about coffee cups is your privilege showing. We are white and straight. This does not mean that we have to be blind to the struggle and persecution of others.

Just because the world is changing does not mean that Christianity is under attack or that white people are going to be enslaved. It means that we need to step to the side and lift people up to our level. We need to make room on the podium for all religions, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, etc. We have been up here alone for far too long.

To conclude, I say to all those out there who are afraid and are truly facing daily discrimination, I may not face what you face or fully understand the struggles you go through, but I will always be by your side. I will help you carry the weight if you need me to. I will fight the battles alongside you. You are not and will never be alone.

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