When I first started to really challenge my beliefs and my understanding of how America is run I quickly came to realize America wasn't made for anyone other than straight, cisgender, white, men. Before that time I really struggled to understand US history or politics. As a child, I knew there was something I was missing because what I was learning in school didn't explain why some of my friends had such a different experience or perspective as I did. I found it too overwhelming to apply what I learned in school to what I saw in real life because it just did not make any sense. For a long while, I just thought I was dumb or that history just wasn't my subject. Now I know differently. Watching all of the videos in the brief history section made so much more sense to me than anything I have ever learned as a young student in the united states. I see now how these historical events, rules, and laws still impact our society today. I also see how I benefit from these racest structures and where some of my personal beliefs were created from these structures.
While some of these concepts I learned while attending college, the history behind the concepts were never explained and I never felt like I knew how to explain systemic racism to my family members that did not understand what that meant. Just recently my mother who is in her mid-60s came to understand what white privilege is after I had many conversations trying to explain that concept to her. She cried as she told me "thank you for trying to have those conversations with me. I didn't get it, but once I did I thought this is what my daughter was trying to tell me all along. I am sorry I didn't listen to you, but I thank you for continuing to educate me'. While I am really happy she put in so much work to try and understand a concept that was hard from her I still feel I don't know nearly enough about racism to recognize it and actively combat it. The videos especially on immigration helped me realize there was so much more I need to learn. I knew I didn't like how immigration was being handled in the United States, but I couldn't explain why. This just helped me remember that no matter how much effort I put into educating myself on social justice issues there is always room for me to sit and learn how to be a better ally to all minority groups.