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Thursday, June 13, 2024

It’s 2017, and we have Nazis running around without care and without shame. Please, dear reader, take a moment to absorb the utter absurdity of the sentence you just read.

For those of us who are considered to be privileged, based on our race, gender or socio-economic status, the threat of white supremacy groups and neo-Nazis might not hit home because when your life isn’t in danger, the reality of the situation is hard to grasp. That being said, it’s nearly impossible to imagine the constant fear and panic many Americans are living in right now.

It is our belief that if you are fortunate enough to find yourself in this respected majority, you have an unspoken duty to put the privilege you have to good use. The fact that this duty is unspoken is something we want to change.

It’s a sad but true reality that Americans who are not wealthy white males have a harder time being heard. Minority races are disrespected. Women are told to be silent. People in the LGBTQ+ community are told they’re sinful and invalid. People are silenced, and the voices that might matter most right now aren’t heard.

This isn’t to say it’s impossible for marginalized groups to be heard. This isn’t to say they can’t stand up for their beliefs and speak out against injustices. It is to say, however, that those of us with traditionally louder voices need to use them more often.

We all have friends who converse in closed quarters about how disappointed they are with how things are going in America. They rant about the racism, the unfairness and the corruption. But oftentimes this discontent we hear our friends talk about does not lead to any type of action. What good is a powerful voice if it goes unused?

You might think your voice doesn’t matter. You might think you’re just a college student, so what can you do to stop Ku Klux Klan riots or get Nazis off the streets? The answer is anything. You can do anything. No matter how small and no matter how feeble your attempt may be, the fact that you do something will start a chain reaction, which has the ability to start a movement.

We hate to say it, but when privileged people speak, America listens. We all have a way to do our part. It might be sharing a tweet or posting a Facebook status. It can be as simple as showing your support and letting people know that you agree, that you want a change.

Right now, groups like the KKK and neo-Nazis feel empowered. They feel empowered because our president is advertised as a white supremacist. Whether this assumption is accurate, these groups are still using this image to make sense of their unacceptable actions and thoughts.

The same people giving power to these groups are the people who need to knock them back down. These groups need to see those they respect, powerful white males, telling them what they are doing is wrong. This is the only way they even have a chance of listening.

It can be infuriating to sit back and feel powerless. Unfortunately, this is how most of America feels right now. We want you to know, dear reader, that you have power.

Every one of you are well-educated Americans with bright futures and impressive pasts. You all have platforms where you can speak about what you believe in. It’s time those who have powerful voices speak up. It’s time those who have the power to help those in danger, do.

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