A reflection on privilege

Taken during a protest against racism

Over the past few days and due to the current developments in the US, I have been thinking a lot about privilege and how much it shapes our lives. As someone who has never been discriminated based on my skin colour, religion or sexuality, I feel like it's easy to take things for granted and not recognize the weight privilege has had in everything I have accomplished in life.

I was lucky enough to be born in one of the safest countries in the world, that is part of a Union whose main values are democracy, freedom and peace. I come from a white family and although we are not particularly rich, I always had access to the best education possible.

I was a good student and managed to get into the degree I'd always dreamt about. Currently, I'm on my last semester of university and during these 3 years, I had various enriching experiences that allowed me to grow personally and professionally. All these things I have accomplished depended solely on my effort and on how much work I decided to put in. 

I often think about all the children in refugee camps or countries undergoing long periods of war who don't have the opportunity to grow up in a peaceful environment. I think about all the girls who are denied education just for the simple fact that they are girls. I think about the people who are discriminated daily based on their skin colour or religion, who have seen doors shut down on their faces because of racism and xenophobia. I think about all the people around the world whose lives have been made harder because of prejudice, war and lack of human rights.

It truly makes me feel guilty and angry to think about all the brilliant people who are being denied opportunities because of these structural inequalities. The fact that in 2020, people still have to fight against racism in a country known for being one of the biggest democracy promoters is unacceptable.  

It's urgent that people around the world recognize the weight of privilege and understand that we have the duty to fight for the rights of those who have not been as lucky as we have. We can not keep turning a blind eye on something like this. It's time to speak up.