Check your privilege
By Sherry Holliman There are several ways that we can be privileged.
You live in America, attend a certain educational institution, or you inherited wealth? You’re privileged.
That’s a privilege.
Everyone has certain privileges in life… they simply need to exercise them. The more commonly talked about forms of privileges, being rich (socio-economic status), and white (race).
Everyone should have the same chance to be privileged, so that they can use their privileges to address issues of the non-privileged more efficiently.
To do this, we need to put aside our judgements and prejudices. Change starts with acknowledging our own weakness and scarcities. We must open our minds, and hearts in order to accept the whole picture of inequality. When we become equal parts of the problem, if being privileged is a problem, we can make being privileged part of the solution across our society. If you believe your life doesn’t fit the perfect picture people think of for a particular privileged group, it doesn’t mean you aren’t a part of that group, nor should you stop being grateful for what you have.
The non-privileged feel like equality costs them something and the privileged are just given special treatment. They don’t understand that equality is created by the privileged most likely by someone in the family or community. They often use their privileges to assist with the oppressions found in the surrounding area. If an individual can use their influence to make the quality of life better than before, why stop making progress toward all classes of people feeling accepted and supported in our society?
However, it doesn’t matter how much empathy and humility you have if you’re not willing to tackle the structural factors privileged or not nothing will change.
Society must understand that having privileges will give someone the chance to promote equality of opportunity within the current economic and political system when it is failing. The reverse consequence to having privileges will cause prejudices, biases, and discrimination which are placed in the system in all forms of media, dialogues, conversations, and our interaction of socially communication in our daily lives. Most races are discriminated against but also have privileges. Without a doubt every form of inequality can and should be challenged, whether it’s based on race, gender, sexuality, income, geography or disability, but the structure of the economic system the biggest privilege that everyone utilizes must be preserved.
So please, check your privileges. Be grateful for the things you have.
Respect and support those in unprivileged positions.
Listen to their perspectives and work to change the way things are to make our society and the world at large more inclusive and accepting of all the people. You really can make a difference with your privileges especially as a voter.
Do you believe that having privileges handicaps us from experiencing or acknowledging inequality?
Sherry Holliman is a concerned citizen of Crittenden County and has some views on a variety of topics that she wants to share with her neighbors.
She serves on the Marion City Council.