What Are You Willing to Give Up so Your Privilege Does not Mean Lack of Privilege for Someone Else?
Karen Kilbane

Gee whiz, with all this talk about “privilege”, I better check mine, huh?

Let’s see:

  • the roof over my head: is on a 1965 single-wide which its owners couldn’t manage to sell for five grand over several years’ time so they sold it to me for four (paid off monthly over a year and a half, with no bank involved, most of which anywhere but out in the boonies here would laugh me out of the place or even call security if I were to try and borrow from them;)
  • the stuff under it: came mostly from yard sales, dumpsters, and jobs I did where things being replaced were headed for the dump until I saved them;
  • my automobile: is eighteen years old, sat in a farmers’ field for two years and they were more than glad to have it out of there. Yes it does have leather upholstery so I can see how that might be problematic. I’d be happy to replace it with horse blankets if anyone really needs the leather;
  • my job: or “jobs”, actually, are most often jobs referred to me by guys who are contractors and couldn’t find a way to make a profit on such small and convoluted projects, or the client couldn’t afford their price if they did agree to take it (and that I know of, no woman wants these jobs or not at least any woman who ever told me she did; believe me, there are days when I would tell her, she can have it…);
  • my clients: are almost all women, every one of whom makes more money than I do, has more amenities and more assets than I do, lives more comfortably and securely than I do, but doesn’t happen to have the unique combination of skills, experience, equipment, time and inclination I do, to replace their toilets and the rotting floors beneath them or repair their roofs in the summer heat;
  • my sex and skin color: alas, I am stuck with. Still trying to work out how these ever anointed me to anything like privilege, but a lot of folks seem convinced that they do…

Sorry, but out of all that, which I personally feel added together makes me a fortunate, blessed or even wealthy man, and that a lot of folks certainly are less well-off, I can’t see how my having anything I have (or being what I am) is responsible for anyone else’s lot in life.

So I have to rule in my own behalf:

I don’t mean to give up ANY OF IT.

(except maybe the leather interior: bring some horse blankets, and we’ll talk)

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