The “More-ness” of Privilege
Joel Leon.
428145

We aren’t born thinking of ourselves as less or more because of race, and it’s not something that we think about much at all unless we feel we’ve got the short end of the stick. Racism still exists in ugly pockets in this country, yet the vast majority I should hope will judge you on your character. Your self esteem effects how others perceive you of course, so that doesn’t quite solve things.

There’s no reason why someone of a certain background doesn’t deserve the same respect as any other human being, and children should not be taught otherwise, just as they are not born to believe otherwise.

However, as it relates to social class, there are lasting effects from generations of oppression. One being that entire populations of children are raised in a social class or environment that does not provide the abundance of tools to give them the same chance in life as someone born into privilege. This is not unique to someone born black, but relates to how these problems persist generation to generation. The language gap for instance (and I’m not talking about dialect); http://www.epi.org/publication/early-education-gaps-by-social-class-and-race-start-u-s-children-out-on-unequal-footing-a-summary-of-the-major-findings-in-inequalities-at-the-starting-gate/

These problems relate to extreme difficulty climbing the social ladder. Add to that fear of lingering racism, and I absolutely understand why someone born ‘black’ feels a stigma. Not to mention the history of horrible abuse past generations faced.

But self esteem is the real and final component when it comes to a sense of entitlement. All of the things I have already mentioned can surely be a weight on anyone’s shoulder’s, but you are not less because of who you were born. You deserve the respect you give others, and don’t waste your energy on the fools you treat you otherwise. Try not to carry that heavy burden of resentment against such disgusting people, or assume someone will think you less. My stomach turns to read phrases like “uppity nigger”. I feel disgusted to even quote that! Who would even think something like that?

There are enough obstacles in life, but also enough people who will see you for you. Raise your children to have a strong sense of self esteem and know that they are just as deserving as every other person. That woman apparently has an over-inflated ego. I’ve seen people of many ‘races’ act just as she apparently did. And your coworkers? They are in those positions in your company largely because they have so much confidence in themselves.

So I’m not saying ‘white privilege’ doesn’t exist, but it’s no good to go around viewing the world through this lens. We have to write a new future.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Melissa Okner’s story.