There are many forms of privilege
- Racial privilege
- Racial privilege is usually equated with white privilege since power, money, and influence tends to be concentrated among Caucasians in Western Europe and North America
- Gender Privilege
- Male-identified, masculine individuals still hold a level of privilege over people of other genders.
- Passing is the ability to appear to belong to another group. The ability to pass is itself a privilege because it allows an individual to claim the advantages of a more privileged group.
The initial idea of privilege is something that seems like a plus in life. However, there is down sides to being one of the “privileged” people. Guilt. Being guilted by privilege could be compared to be guilted by being a survivor of an accident or being guilty for being born into a family below the poverty line.
Having a privileged life is something that was granted to you generally at birth when it comes to the three types if privileges listed above. Each privilege give a different form of benefits, for example racial privilege generally is connected to money, power and/or influence, similar to gender privilege which is associated with white males and masculinity. And finally passing, that means you can belong to one group and get the benefits of the other, an example of this comes from my favourite TV show, Daphne on Switched at Birth, is white but both her parents are Puerto Rican meaning she is a minority. Daphne was raised in a low income neighbourhood and went to a school that was less then average, however, because of Daphne’s skin colour she can pass for being white meaning she isn’t subject to discrimination she might have otherwise been subjected too.
The problems with privilege is that some people aren’t okay with accepting they have privilege. It’s understandable because such an emphasis is put on hard work and earning you keep that people become uncomfortable with the idea of being handed something. However, these privileges are given to you at birth and whether you feel like you are given advantages or not you probably are without these privileges being acknowledged. The following video has some good points in it with respect to Macklemore White Privilege II Song .
So this video has some really good points and it you don’t feel like watching it here are some of the highlights.
- White people alive today are not responsible for slavery but white people still reap the benefits like black people wear the scars.
- Just because you don’t acknowledge racism or police brutality doesn’t mean it doesn’t still exists.
- You can never put too much effort in to issues of justice and equality.
The video has good points up until about the 3:20 mark, then she goes off on a bit of a tangent. Her point is that you can’t ignore the problem and expect it to disappear because it is still going to be there, but I fully agree with the points I listed above.
PROBLEMS LIKE THIS DO NOT GO AWAY ON THEIR OWN!
As hard as it may be we have to address the fact that some things really are just handed to us, these privileges have to be acknowledged. This should not make us feel guilty or responsible for past wrong doings but make us realize that we need to change sometimes.
Whether or not you are believe in God or not, I think everyone can appreciate the Serenity Prayer. If you break it down to connect with this topic:
- You can’t change your gender, race, or appearance
- You can change the fact that you feel guilty and responsible
- you can even help people who are stuck in out dated and ignorant ways of racism see that everyone deserves the same amount of justice as you.
Nobody should feel guilty for their race and above that nobody should ever be punished for their race or gender or sexuality! You can not change the past but everyone plays a helping hand in how equality works in our future! The best way to make sure you are doing your part is to educated your self on the topics, we have every resource available to us we should use them properly! Not sure where to start? Start here! Or here!
It starts with education and ends with equality