“You are so lucky and blessed, so why are you complaining?” is something I’ve personally heard. When people are raising up their voices to share their experiences, they should definitely be heard rather than being silenced or hushed.
In environments like Princeton, the kinds of racism or discrimination that you experience will not be easily recognizable to you. In the Philosophy department, the white male canon that we learn makes me very conscious of my status as a woman of color.
I didn’t used to feel that there were that many people that I could relate to at Princeton. It’s something inherent to anyone from very far away. As you find community, the contrast becomes smaller and smaller. And I see that there are more similarities than I thought.
I hear about African American and other minority students having experiences with professors that were on the negative side—that tend to be something along the lines of: “You’re here because of your identity and not because of your academic prowess.”
It would be kind of nice to be able to bond with people who share my Hispanic ethnicity, but maybe right now I don’t need that.
Ideas around difference; ideas around access to goods in society? It’s one thing to talk about them as just ideas, but it’s another to think about how those ideas allow us to think about the daily challenges of people who don’t come from privilege.
So many of the things that my fellow classmates have to think about—being white—you never think about. 90% of the time, you’re the majority in the room, and you never doubt your validity because most of your professors are white.