When I use the word “privilege”, I don’t mean that people, in general, shouldn’t have a smooth ride.
When I use the word “privilege” I acknowledge that not everyone experiences it.
It’s not about guilt; it’s about joining in to challenge systems that favor some while oppressing others.
Read below a fantastic metaphor for what privilege means for those oppressed, using a bike and a city not made for riding.
The phrase “white privilege” is one that rubs a lot of white people the wrong way. It can trigger something in them that shuts down conversation or at least makes them very defensive. (Especially those who grew up relatively less privileged than other folks around them). And I’ve seen more than once where this happens and the next move in the conversation is for the person who brought up white privilege to say, “The reason you’re getting defensive is because you’re feeling the discomfort of having your privilege exposed.”
I’m sure that’s true sometimes. And I’m sure there are a lot of people, white and otherwise, who can attest to a kind of a-ha moment or paradigm shift where they “got” what privilege means and they did realize they had been getting defensive because they were uncomfortable at having their privilege exposed. But I would guess that more often than…
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