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Brighton High School

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270 S 8th Ave
Brighton, CO 80601

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I Have Rights...

January 30, 2019

I am a fifteen year old, cisgender, straight, white male, and I have a right.

A right to believe in the things I believe.

A right to disagree and disavow with others and their beliefs.

So why do people get mad at me for believing what I believe and insult me when my beliefs differ from theirs?

We live in a time where people are are taking a stand. A stand for equality- a stand to be heard, and those voices have been silenced to long. More and more minority groups are demanding attention and equality, and rightfully so. Historically, the cisgendered white male voices have been the loudest, but that is changing.

I was recently told, that as a cisgendered white male, I don’t get to have a say in issues that involve other people, but personally, I disagree with that.

The straight, white male population  receives heavy criticism, but that isn't okay. Since this group has had the dominant power for the longest period of time, others assume that the first thing to come out of their mouths will be bigoted or oppressive. I get that, historically, this has been a problem, and I am willing to admit it, but that doesn't change the fact that everyone is entitled to an opinion. White men have been using their voices to be a part of society. Personally, I want to try to make it a better place for everyone, no matter the ethnicity, sexual orientation, or biological birthplace of a person. There are people who want to be advocates for everyone, and I want to be an advocate for problems that I see.

I believe that as a white man, you are allowed to be an ally to different marginalized groups. If you believe police brutality should stop or beleive in police reform, then you could support the Black Lives Matter movement. If you believe that women all over the world should be allowed to have the same rights as men, be a Feminist group. If support LGBT rights then become an ally. People from every walk of life are allowed to support whatever group they want.  Follow what you believe, and don’t let people tell you ‘you can’t do that’ or that ‘you can’t be in that group’. I believe that even though white men have privilege, they should be allowed to have any ideology they want.

Everyone deserves the respect of being listened to, and everyone should return the respect of listening. Everyone should be respected and people should be happy when people use their voices. However, if the white male voice is completely silenced, then we might just be silencing a voice that can make a change that people want. All marginalized groups should listen, and straight white men should listen too.

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