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Making Waves

Challenging Privilege


By Fadi Didi

In June of 1985, a baby was born in London, Ontario to two proud, Lebanese Canadian parents. That baby was born with olive skin, but light enough it didn't draw much attention. Light enough, in fact, to be advantageous.

That child would grow up not being tailed by suspicious retail staff when out shopping. That child could walk by cars, without hearing them lock as he did. That child was never cat-called, and would look completely at home when he moved to rural Ontario in later years.

Through no fault of that child's, he would grow into unlimited advantage. He was never characterized as a thug for wearing his hoodie, or being promiscuous for revealing his skin, or thought a terrorist when acknowledging his Muslim heritage.

Through no fault of his own -- an invisible force existed which privileged that child.

Now -- it seems that privilege is being challenged, and rightly so.

It's being challenged by kneeling black football players, and people (mainly women) subjected to common-but-silent sexual assaults.

The silence which once helped those with privilege maintain their advantage is no longer deafening.

We can hear it.

The only way I see forward in re-balancing social equality is to listen when a collective of voices shout, "no more."

Currently, that voice is being heard loud and clear by women who refuse to remain silent when assaulted, and minorities who refuse profiling as the status quo.

Listening and understanding should always be the first steps toward healing.

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