News Daily Spot: If you want to be an ally, Kelly Osbourne, educate yourself about other people first

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If you want to be an ally, Kelly Osbourne, educate yourself about other people first

Source: TheGuardian
Osbourne experienced a liberal person’s nightmare on Tuesday when she made a racist gaffe on national television – while attempting to defend a minority group from racism. Osbourne was guest-hosting on The View, where the topic was Donald Trump, who has been spewing anti-Latino hate speech on every media platform from Twitter to C-Span for the past few weeks as part of the run-up to his Republican presidential bid, or as an elaborate Candid Camera set-up. We can’t be sure.
“If you kick every Latino out of this country,” Osbourne said, “then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?”
Ostensibly, Osbourne was only trying to point out the hypocrisy of Trump’s anti-immigrant attacks when he – like everyone else in America – benefits from the hard work of immigrants every day. That’s a salient point, but that’s not what she ended up articulating. And that could be because she probably has more in common with Trump than with the people she purports to defend.
She wanted to put Trump in his place, you see, but the thing is, Osbourne occupies the same place in society that Trump does. She’s the ridiculously fortunate daughter of a rock star who was handed an unearned life in the public eye. He’s the ridiculously fortunate son of a real estate mogul who was handed the same. Neither of them should ever work without a teleprompter.
I’m not saying Kelly Osbourne is going around calling Mexicans rapists and drug traffickers like Donald Trump is, but she’s not exactly helping.
It’s great that Osbourne wants to stick up for an underrepresented group of people, but is she living this social justice in her daily life? Does she have the faintest notion of this group of people as, you know, people? If the best thing she can say about them is that they clean your toilets, probably not.
And this is where any ally can take a lesson. Before you speak for another group, know your privilege. Which, admittedly, is hard, because the definition of privilege is that you are unexposed to the harsher realities of life. That’s why, if you want to be an ally to a group to which you don’t belong, educate yourself as best you can before you speak publicly on the issues they face.
Maybe Osbourne could start with something she shares with Mexican immigrants: she’s an immigrant too. Now, I’m not saying all Latinos in the United States are immigrants (nearly three out of four Latinos in this country are citizenswith about 65% of those being native-born.) But the group Trump insulted was immigrants from Mexico – and later, all of Latin America.
But then, let’s compare the average experience of an immigrant from Mexico with, say, an immigrant from Great Britain. If they have qualifying family in the US, the average wait time for Mexicans to get a visa to live here is 20 years. For an immigrant from the UK and a lot of other countries in Europe, the average wait time is seven years. And that privilege doesn’t even require you to be the child of a rock star.
It’s an eye-opening example of the hardships Osbourne never had to face. Educate yourself about the realities of a situation. Then you can speak with confidence about the unfair advantages experienced by one group over another.
To Osbourne’s credit, she did attempt to own her comment later on Facebook. “I whole-hearted fucked up today. I don’t want to bullshit anyone with lame excuses,” she wrote. Then she kind of made some weak excuses about being interrupted by the other hosts before she could make her point.
It’s incredibly trendy in media circles to appear progressive, but people of color and other minorities aren’t looking to be the flavor of the month. They’re looking for the opportunity for a decent life that others already enjoy. As human beings, we all have prejudices that need to be examined. If you really want to be an ally, start with examining yours.

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