White Riot

I appreciate the message Shia LaBeouf tried to spread with his camera art exhibit thing. His beliefs and attempts at genuine activism shouldn’t be swatted down just because he’s a celebrity. The fact that he actually went and did something about his problem instead of giving a speech at the Oscars about it speaks volumes about his passion in his beliefs, and he shouldn’t be taken any less serious than any other activist.

For the record, I don’t think LaBeouf is a very good person nor do I agree with most of what he says. A quick scan through the “controversy” section of his wikipedia page shows some of the poor decisions he’s made in his life.

However, to simply write him off because of his celebrity status is awful. Sure, his perspective is from a privileged point of view. But why does that discredit him? He’s still entitled to his beliefs, and anyone that wishes to rally to his cause is able to under our Bill of Rights and the essential laws of human nature. Personally, I’m sick and tired of this idea of “privilege” in general. Criticizing celebrities for speaking their mind from a position of power and wealth is quite frankly asinine.

That situation is a good metaphor for the idea of privilege in general. Often on social media, you see some people accuse people of “white privilege” or “straight privilege” or whatever. In some cases this is true, to be fair. It’s probably not a coincidence that white people accused of crimes always seem to get the nicest pictures in articles describing the heinous crimes they’ve committed, whereas black people accused of the same thing have menacing pictures of them circulated online.

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The three whitest boys alive. 

However, the idea of privilege is very hypocritical and offensive. If you ever find yourself accusing someone of their “privilege”, consider YOUR privilege. Especially if you’re a student at FVHS like me. Odds are you don’t live in poverty. You have two arms and two legs, and a functioning body in general. You don’t have any disabilities. You’re complaining online on a $700 device your parents bought just for you, a device they pay the bill for monthly. If you live in Fountain Valley, or Orange County in general, the crime rate is very low, especially the murder rate.

When you claim someone who’s white can’t comment on social issues simply because they’re white, or because they’re straight, or whatever you think their privilege is (that you forced upon them), consider their point of view. Maybe they’re poor. Maybe their parents are divorced, or they have abusive parents. Maybe they’re depressed. Maybe they believe that their right to speak is just as valid as yours, regardless of skin color.

In Caracas, Venezuela, 120 people die for every 100,000 people a year. That’d be like if 4 kids at FVHS were shot every school year. Los Angeles isn’t even in the top 30 most dangerous cities in the nation. There are only 2 cities in California in the top 30 most dangerous, and they’re both in Northern California.

Similar numbers are reported in Honduras, Brazil, and Mexico. Kids in those countries don’t have the chance to call out other people on their “privilege” because to them, privilege is every 24 hours of life they have. They don’t have time to sit on twitter and get worked up because someone else is arguing something from their own point of view, and you can’t comprehend how someone could possibly see something from a different perspective than yours.

Yes, privilege is a thing. But please consider that being able to call someone out for superficial made up garbage like “white privilege” is a privilege in itself. Stop being a spoiled brat, and focus on issues that are genuinely important. Like the fact that the president of the United States might literally take your civil liberties away. Or that we deny the entry of Syrian refugees because we think they’ll bring terrorism (news flash: they won’t). There are plenty of things bigger than your ridiculous belief that someone’s point of view is invalidated by their race.

The fact is, we’ll swallow all this superficial crap one day along with our demise. One day, society will take a look in the history books with shocked face, surprised that anyone actually cared about any of this weird stuff we care about. One day, humans will see one another for the complete and utter garbage they are and realize that every human is futile in nature. Once we get rid of our egos, and our pride, we will be able to successfully live our lives.

 

 

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