“Relatability” has the power to promote white privilege and underrepresentation

Unfortunately, I was sick when Ray asked us to write about the topic of relatability for a blog post worth 2 POSTS. Even though this is coming to you two weeks after he assigned it, I desperately need the points.

Since I wasn’t there when Ray explained what we’re supposed to do, the only information I have is to write about the topic of “relatability.” I guess the first thing I think of is mutually shared identities. For example, I relate to a lot of things that describe the female experience, because I’m a woman. I also relate to things that have to do with being a college student, because I’m a college student. I also relate to my fellow members of the “Happy Cats” Facebook page, because I love cats.

Although relatability can bring people together, it has some hidden evils too. It can create further divides in systems, and these divides can disadvantage the already disadvantaged group. For example, people are more likely to vote for candidates of their own race. You might be thinking, if everyone does it, why is it a problem?

Well, due to voter suppression in predominantly minority communities and other racial barriers tied to Election Day, there are overwhelmingly more white people that will vote in elections. And since minorities can be barred from voting from obscure laws and regulations, this translates into blocking minority candidates from being elected, due to the “vote within your own race” idea. Obviously, the evils of relatability doesn’t always pull through, since Barack Obama won the candidacy in 2008 and 2014. However, he was college educated, Catholic and a male, which connects him to many other categories privileged people can relate to.

Obviously, this argument has to be fleshed out more fully, but I don’t plan on writing a 7 page paper with sources, counterarguments and a thesis for my blog post. Just sharing my thoughts on how relatability can sometimes promote greater evils in society, like white privilege and underrepresentation.

Leave a Reply