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Understanding Privilege

During last year’s pandemic, I was on my way home, sitting on the train. And yes, I experienced my first incident as a victim of discrimination by having an Asian face. This man came after me, whispering rude words, and sat next to me, coughing deliberately with extreme arrogance. Because I was the only Asian girl on the train, I can strongly feel the apathy around me, I felt like nobody was willing to take the risk of standing up to help me. As a little girl, I felt helpless and aggrieved, as a Chinese, I felt offended and disrespected.

At that time, many local people still had the stereotype about COVID was caused by Chinese, so there’s a certain amount of “yellow faces” that are suffering sarcasm and were unjustly treated. Although my situation wasn’t that serious, the psychological impact and sense of fear were unforgettable. And as far as I know, I’m not the only one who has experienced this, some of my friends have told me similar stories, which made me feel sad, but unfortunately, we live in a world like this, people often judge others by faces and races, which is common and morbid. However, I’m not trying to criticize on the situation itself, I’m just trying to reflect and reveal about how a group of people may react to a particular case, probably someone may stand out, but most people will measure and choose the dominate position to avoid troublesome.

I just want to say that everyone may have privileges in a certain level or environment, on the opposite side, unfair treatments and disadvantages also exist. Privilege is not about whether you are rich or poor, white or yellow, healthy or disability, and any other congenital advantages, it’s about the proportion of mind, judgements from a situation, and the cultural trend that exists in the particular group or environment you are currently in.

by Tina Hui


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