Mariam Khodr

“White privilege” is unofficially defined as “the level of societal advantage that comes with being seen as the norm in America, automatically conferred irrespective of wealth, gender or other factors.”

I am not white, I am not male, I was not born in the United States.

I do not have the privileges most Americans are born with.

I have my own privilege.

I have the privilege of living outside the so-called “societal norm in America.”

Others see racism, misogyny, islamophobia, xenophobia on a daily.

I have the privilege of living it on a daily.

Others are born in America, the first gift outside of the womb is automatic U.S. citizenship.

My parents immigrated to America from Lebanon in 2000.

I was born in Baghdad, Iraq.

I have the privilege of being a foreigner, I wear the title like a badge of privilege clear as the light of day on my Arab forehead.

I used to wear the hijab for several years in my adolescence.

Some said the hijab would be the equivalence of a target on my head.

The target would be a sign as red and bright as a traffic light.

The traffic light would allow future employers to discriminate against me.

The hijab is more than a pretty piece of cloth, more than a head covering.

The hijab is an invitation to Jannah, to a guaranteed beautiful after life.

I have the privilege of my own, exclusive relationship with God, secured with the same safety pin I used to secure the hijab on my Arab head.

So you can have your white privilege. Your white privilege is not a privilege.

A real privilege is the one where you are different from the “societal norm” in America.

It is the one where you use your tragedy, your clear as daylight differences, the pain and suffering you experience on a daily to bring awareness to the corrupt society we live in called America.

My privilege opens doors and brings protection from God, brings me honor and joy and love.

My privilege is that of being more proud of my Iraqi heritage than it is of my American citizenship.

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