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Southwest Shadow

Students Compete in Fashion Forward Competition

If I was privileged…

Life in a Eurocentric society

Leaning against my fist, I stared at the classroom in front of me–voices entering one ear and quickly exiting the other. Like most teenagers my age, I often find myself lost in thought, daydreaming away from reality.

Once the results of the presidential election came to mind, I began to question the outcome of the next four years. With a blank face, I pictured the different ways my life would turn out if only one thing was different–my skin color.

If I wasn’t Filipino, my younger sister wouldn’t complain about people calling her Chinese because of her eyes. I wouldn’t worry about my little brother not relating to characters in children’s books.

If my skin wasn’t tinted, I wouldn’t hear my family complain about having darker skin. There wouldn’t be a stack of skin whitening soap from the Philippines underneath my sink.

If I wasn’t a minority, the history of my race would be glorified in America’s public school curriculum instead of brushed off like it’s nothing. I wouldn’t think about my great-grandparents’ lives in the Philippines while being taught about American imperialism in class.

If my race was accurately depicted, I would have more people like me to idolize in entertainment. The few actors that share my race wouldn’t be fetishized in moviesNearly every Hollywood film would feature my race–87.1% of the lead characters would look like me. 

If I wasn’t Asian, I wouldn’t be expected to take the phrase “Model Minority” as a compliment. Others wouldn’t assume I automatically have good grades because of my race, and regardless of my SAT scores or extracurriculars, I would have a better chance of getting into a prestigious college.  

If I was privileged, I wouldn’t be here imagining my life as the racial majority. I wouldn’t wish to have another skin color for the sake of being treated equally in a country I’m supposed to call home.

To “Make America Great Again” requires an acceptance of all backgrounds. Racial stereotypes distract from one’s potential and controls others’ first impression of them. It’s as if social status is restricted by innate features. If I could choose, my skin color wouldn’t be the one that gives me an automatic disadvantage. 

But no matter how much I wish, I’ll always be a shade too dark.

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  • A

    Abenezer H GessesseJan 4, 2017 at

    lul, no -____-

  • J

    Jordan R MongeonDec 14, 2016 at

    This article pains me to read. Not because you “opened my eyes to privilege”, but because this argument is very sad. Your privilege is that you can complain about your privilege and we’re not allowed to say anything about it. You are assuming that other races are more privileged than you without even knowing even knowing what they go through. This article also gives the “White people are bad” argument, discussing American Imperialism. You think that people look down on you because of your physical appearance, but most of this school consists of people of the same race. If you are born in America, you are already in the top 1%. I defy you to go to Africa and complain about your privilege there, see what they have to say about it.

  • E

    Evan MontoyaDec 14, 2016 at

    You are privileged, look at the school you go to. The fact that you have a camera, smartphone, roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food on your plate makes you privileged. There are thousands of homeless teens in Nevada, of all races mind you, who struggle to get food and do their homework somewhere peaceful and quiet. Check yourself before you start victimizing yourself for nothing.