Your activism privilege is showing

By Tatiana Rodriguez, Columnist

So, this whole safety pin thing — the way that white people have attempted to be good allies while deflecting their own guilt about the election — is completely ridiculous.

Yet somehow, someway, white people have managed to let similar projects and symbols fly right over their heads.

Photo projects, posters, sidewalk chalk messages and other random creative projects have sprung up in reaction to Donald Trump’s presidential win as a soft form of activism.

What’s so interesting about this, though, is that it’s often white people, the people who are part of the largest demographic that voted for Trump, who are desperately trying to scream that they’re “one of the good ones” by creating these flawed works.

But just like the safety pin thing — I can see right through it.

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Though you think you’re trying to promote love, understanding and support for a common cause, the intent behind your “projects” is to make you feel better about yourself — especially when you’re posting it all over social media in order to feel like some sort of revolutionary activist.

These majority white, safety pin-esque projects are pointless. They do nothing to further any sort of new, productive discussions and they don’t help to create inclusive spaces or solutions to combat whatever issues you’re supposedly against.

We get it. You feel bad that white people voted for Trump. But trying to construct flimsy projects in order to make yourself feel better about being white is not the way to go if you’re trying to be a good ally.

And to straight, cisgender white women: using your womanhood as a crutch to feel less guilty about your white privilege makes you look absolutely delusional.

While Trump’s proposed policies concerning reproductive rights and opinions on sexual assault can and will affect you, the privileges that you gain as a white person outweigh the deficits of your womanhood — which you should already understand considering that more than half of white women voted to maintain those privileges.

If you are a white person and you just want to help, you should do it in a way that is conducive to achieving some sort of goal, not just to get you likes on the internet and for people to think you’re an inspiration.

Discuss issues in your own communities surrounding topics such as: racism, classism, Islamophobia, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ableism and more. Try to help other privileged people recognize their privilege.

Attempt to get those who are simply ignorant about these issues talking and see if you can help them understand those who are seemingly different than them. Help your own communities to understand the reactions of those who oppose the outcome of this year’s election. Get involved when marginalized groups of people attempt to organize events such as marches or protests.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t protest if you’re privileged, I’m saying that you need to try to combat issues within your own community before participating in others’ movements.

And when you do participate in others’ movements, you need to support. Don’t take over and assume that you’re doing some grand gesture by taking over the megaphone and establishing yourself as a “white savior.”

Thank you for at least trying, white people. But your shallow, self-indulgent projects do nothing but make me even more frustrated about this election.

Tatiana is a freshman in Media.

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