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No, #checkYOURprivilege

There is always a new trending hashtag on social media. #DontJudgeChallenge and #IceBucketChallenge are two of many hashtags that have been used to raise awareness for something important.  One that has been around for a while is #BlackLivesMatter. It stemmed from the idea that people thought their lives mattered less than others. And, hey, maybe they did have reason to think that; and good for them, using social media to raise awareness.

It’s important that social media is used to raise awareness and fix social issues. Social media is a big tool, and it is very important piece of today’s society. Without this tool, it would be impossible to address some issues.

More recently, a hashtag has appeared that is giving rise to social injustice: #checkyourprivilege.

It seems to want to say, “Hey man, take a step back try to look at the issue from someone else’s perspective.”

While the original intention of this hashtag might have been a good one, the use of it has not been. It’s directed at someone when the user wants an apology for being of a certain sexuality, race or economic background — rather than any benefit. It’s used when someone wants someone else to say that they’re sorry for being a certain way.

I’ve most commonly seen this hashtag used in arguments about inequality, especially when it’s an ignorant one. Don’t get me wrong, I think inequality is a very big issue; however, any argument about it is probably ignorant. It is a prevalent issue; it does make a difference, yet what is there to argue about? No one will ever win a fight about inequality. It’s something ingrained in us by our environment. You will never convince a racist that a black man should be president, just as you will never convince a homophobic that being gay is a choice.

I’ve seen prejudice people pick fights; I’ve seen defensive people use this hashtag to tear them down. I have yet to see this be constructive in any way. It’s supposed to be used as a form of social justice, yet it’s just a deconstructive tool.

No, life is not fair, but who told you it was? Humanity is a collection of us humans, and our flaws. No two people will ever completely agree, let alone feel the same way about inequality topics. The grass is always greener on the other side, until you go to the side to find it’s not.

While a white student may feel discriminated against when it comes to financial aid (although statistics prove otherwise), that same white student may have never been discriminated against while applying for a job.

#CheckYourPrivilege is used abusively to counter opinions of people you disagree with over anything to do with inequalities. If you’re using this hashtag … take a step back and #CheckYourPrivilege. Everyone has their own fights and struggles. There is no need to tear someone down for feeling a certain way. What hurts them may not hurt you. They’ve been places you’ll never be, vice versa.

No, I won’t check my privilege, thank you though. I am not sorry for being white, a female, bisexual, politically-incorrect, upper-middle class or whatever other labels you have for me. I am not sorry for being born this way, and I will never allow myself to think my struggle is any less than anyone else’s, nor any greater.

Hashtags and social media are great tools. Yay for mass communication and social justice. Boo for abusing. We don’t need to fight about this. You’re black, and you’re white. So? There are people who will treat you differently, and that doesn’t mean we should encourage it. We don’t need a hashtag to keep us apart or to tear one another down. I seriously caution you on any use of it. Check your privilege before you tell someone else to.

privilege

About The Author

Madison Hampton

Madison Hampton is a sophomore who has a different major every week. She is the sports and media editor. She was born at a young age in Naples, Florida and has since become a caffeine dependent life-form. When she isn't in the newsroom, she's probably taking a nap. Madison is a paper-cut survivor and an advocate of sweatpants in the work place. #GodBlessThisHotMess

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