Study abroad volunteers at clinic in Ghana - Sidra Kennedy

La nascita della comprensione dei propri privilegi

Eravamo in nove, un gruppo nord americani ed europei bianchi tra i 18 e i 19 anni. Nel momento in cui mettemmo piede nella clinica, ci considerarono automaticamente più capaci dei dottori stessi. Sapevo perché stavo ricevendo quel trattamento: la mia pelle era bianca e il mio accento americano.
United States, Northern America

Story by Sidra Kennedy. Translated by Sati Nunziati
Published on September 13, 2020.

This story is also available in GB tr



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Immaginatevi: avete diciotto anni e il grado più alto di istruzione che avete ricevuto è il diploma delle superiori. Odiavate biologia così tanto che è stata l’unica insufficienza che avevate durante tutti gli anni di scuola; insolitamente, non avete fatto chimica per scegliere invece fisica. Sapete auto-diagnosticarvi un raffreddore, ma se provate di farlo con qualcosa di più serio siete completamente spaesati e confusi. 

Consapevoli di questo, vi fidereste di voi stessi per fare un’iniezione? O per far nascere un bambino? Sembra impossibile che qualcuno possa darvi un potere simile senza che abbiate ricevuto una formazione medica. Ma è quello che mi è successo. 

Stavo studiando il sistema pubblico sanitario in Ghana durante il mio anno sabbatico, come parte di un programma per diplomati che si occupa di sviluppo nel mondo. Eravamo in nove, un gruppo di nordamericani e europei bianchi tra i 18 e i 19 anni. Tre di noi furono mandati in una clinica sanitaria rurale nella regione Ashanti del Ghana. Avremmo dovuto parlare con i dottori e osservare le loro attività giornaliere, ma nello momento in cui mettemmo piede nella clinica, tutto quello che le persone furono in grado di vedere era il nostro essere bianchi. I pazienti ci chiedevano di occuparci di loro, e i dottori stessi insistevano perché noi lo facessimo. Fu scioccante: non avevamo nessuna formazione né tantomeno dell’esperienza medica, ma ci venivano conferite una responsabilità e un rispetto immensi. La considerazione, scontata, che dei diplomati alle superiori fossero più istruiti e competenti dei dottori e delle infermiere che avevano completato anni di scuole specializzate  in medicina, fu sorprendente. Sapevo perché stavo ricevendo questo trattamento: la mia pelle era bianca e il mio accento americano. Tuttavia ho faticato a capire il motivo per cui questo suscitasse tanto rispetto. 

Dopo aver aiutato un’ostetrica a far nascere un bambino, fui furiosa con me stessa. Come avevo potuto fare qualcosa della quale sapevo non essere qualificata? Come avevo potuto farmi coinvolgere dalla loro idea, pericolosa, che il mio solo essere bianca e straniera mi rendeva automaticamente istruita abbastanza per fare un lavoro così importante e prestigioso? È stato sorprendente e doloroso realizzare che nonostante io sia una liberale dalla mente aperta, ben consapevole delle ingiustizie causate dai privilegi che certe persone pretendono di avere a discapito di altre basandosi solo sul colore della pelle, fui completamente risucchiata i quel mio stesso privilegio. Invece di cercare di cambiare  prospettiva, insistendo sull’autorità dell’ostetrica, li assecondai, permettendomi di aiutare a far nascere un bambino. 

Provai tante emozioni durante il periodo trascorso lavorando nella clinica—sorpresa, sentirsi speciale, vergogna—che mi hanno confusa. Pensavo che ad essermi coinvolta in questo modo non sarei mai stata più in grado di combattere la discriminazione che c’è al mondo. Ma in tutto questo ho realizzato come i miei occhi si stessero aprendo, notando come quei privilegi di cui non si ha merito giochino un ruolo nella discriminazione stessa, facendo sembrare le persone che lo hanno come “al di sopra” di altre. Eliminare la discriminazione è un processo in due parti: prima di tutto cercando, naturalmente, di porre fine ad essa quando si verifica. In secondo luogo, cosa meno ovvia, riconoscendo e contraddicendo quei privilegi di cui non si ha alcun merito, perché sono questi che alla fine dei conti portano alla discriminazione stessa. 


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Sidra Kennedy

Sidra Kennedy

Hi!! I’m Sidra, I’m 19 years old and I’m from the United States. I love discovering new cultures and meeting new people. So far I have lived, worked and studied in the US, Guatemala, Thailand and Ghana, but I hope to expand and learn more. My passion is education and one day I hope to dedicate my life to trying to provide education to everyone in the world. But for now, I’m trying to experience as much of the world as I can!

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