STAFF EDITORIAL: The lenses of privilege

Recognizing racial disparity in predominantly white community

Privilege is an eyeglass. We wear the lens of the various advantages we possess. As a school, a community, and a staff that is predominantly white, most of our views aren’t exceptionally diverse.
Our lenses come in different shapes and sizes, and often the basis lies in the color of our skins. However, in our community, that simple fact is often overlooked.
Without diversity surrounding us, it only becomes easier to forget the privilege that being white brings along with it. We don’t see the immediate effects of our entitlement until it becomes too large to contain.
The ignorant comments and microaggressions that most of us have in some way committed seem small and insignificant. It’s only when something overtly racist happens, something that we can’t help but see and hear, understand that we even bring up the topic at all.
It is then and only then that we reflect for a brief moment and see the vast history of racism that we have only indulged. For a second we are upset, and we look at the behavior around us. Then we move on.
We move on and we forget. We forget that it’s not a “one-time-thing.” It’s everywhere, all the time. We simply push it to the side and forget about it because it’s not something that we have to consider our day to day life.
During the 2020-2021 school year 1,580 students attended Monarch.
19 were Black.
84 were Asian.
167 were Hispanic.
1,210 were White.
Our view of the world is skewed, because the world isn’t 77% white.
This lack of diversity makes it more imperative that we are consciously aware of our privilege. We wake up with an advantage for doing absolutely nothing but wearing the skin we were born with.
We will never be able to change the lens we see through. There is no way for us to truly understand the experience of people of color because we don’t live it.
By realizing that we live everyday with privilege displayed across our faces, we can make waves of change. Being aware of the lens that we see the world through, and the fact that this is very different for others, we can change the way that we impact our community.
The first step is to simply acknowledge the privilege that we have. Remembering every day that we see and experience the world differently than many of our peers.
As we shift our ideas of the world around us, change will come with it.