Q: With the varying social issues going on around the United States today, I find it difficult to educate myself objectively. I want to be active in my beliefs, while keeping an opinion without offending other people. What should I do?
I think it’s very important to be educated on what is going on around us today — in many ways — whether that be social, political, etc. The first step is to become fully aware and to see every side of a situation.
There is a lot of talk about “fake news” right now, which is a whole other topic in itself. But the point is, journalism from reliable sources is meant to give facts in an unbiased way. Though some sites are slightly biased, for example CNN in a liberal sense and Fox News in a conservative way, reading multiple outlets of the same story can get readers more of an understanding of events through both sets of views.
Afterwards, an opinion should be formed based on your moral values, and what you think is right — even if other people do not agree with it.
When it comes to not offending other people, I think the most effective thing to do is to actively listen to those affected by the situation.
For example, as a white person, I cannot decide what is offensive to people of color. But what I can do is listen, and try to sympathize with what they are saying and feeling about the current situations we are facing as a society. By doing so, I can learn how these situations are potentially harmful to those around me, even if I don’t see it or experience myself. You have to keep an open mind and realize that just because it’s not happening to you, doesn’t mean it’s not happening and that you shouldn’t care.
Personally, I think that remaining idle and silent is just as bad as perpetuating what you are idly watching.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
When you’re younger, it seems like our beliefs come from our parents, or any other adult figure in our lives. Now that we’re in high school, we can finally believe in what we want, and form our own opinions.
Recently there’s been an increased amount of social injustices, and it’s time for you, as a high schooler, or even an adult, to stand up for what is right. An example would be Charlottesville, Va. In the past few weeks, there have been violent protests, and three people killed from the unrest.
White supremacy is at its prime in our country, and sitting by watching it happen is just as bad as supporting it. As teenagers, we are the future leaders of this country, and no matter what you think, you can make a difference.
Whether it’s attending peaceful protests, or even shutting down racism you hear or see, you are making a difference. Once your form your own opinion and beliefs, you’ll soon realize that just thinking what everyone else thinks, isn’t the way to go.
Despite what everyone is saying, racism matters. The pigment of your skin in today’s world determines everything, when it shouldn’t. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
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