An eye opening conversation leads to new way of thinking

Cora Butcher-Spellman

Talking with members of The Friendly Immigrant during this election season has brought me face to face with my white privilege. While I am certainly worried about the outcome of the upcoming election, I am not terrified. I am not afraid I will never be able to see my family again because I or my family may be deported. I’m not persecuted for my race or religion. I am white and these are not problems white people in the U.S. need to worry about. Sure, I worry. However my worries are vague and distant, not defined and immediate.

During the meeting, someone made the comparison of immigrants disclosing their identity being similar to an LGBTQ+ person coming out. These students have to come out with their situation over and over again, always bracing themselves for a reaction. Anyone who has ever had to come out and disclose something similar knows this is a heavy weight to bear.

Another member expressed that these immigrants have even more stress related to the upcoming election because they can’t vote and have little voice, for fear that if they speak up, they will be punished. These people have to plead and pray that people will vote to protect them.

Fortunately, I can vote on behalf of myself and others. My voice matters more because my family immigrated here longer ago than some other people’s families. I encourage anyone reading this to keep people less privileged in mind when voting next Tuesday.