I’m not worried about a Trump presidency. Here’s why.
A lot of people have written about their worries — founded and otherwise — about the upcoming Trump presidency.
I’m not worried. Genuinely. Of the many people I’ve talked to or read posts from, I’m probably among the least worried population out there.
Let me tell you why. I’m a:
- Stable support system of friends and family
- College education mostly paid for by my parents
- Minuscule grasp of what it’s like to be marginalized
Really my only experience being an “other” was my upbringing as a Mormon. When I told people that if I drank coffee it would make god sad, they sometimes gave me weird looks.
Talk about persecution.
So my lack of general concern about the next 4 years is 1 part ignorance, 1 part depression, and 1 part privilege.
For the most part, white men have been in charge of society since the beginning. We’re not going anywhere. We’re not being dismissed any time soon.
That’s what being privileged is. I have earned none of the head starts I’ve received in my life. I had nothing to do with being born, my ethnicity or my sexuality. I won the family lottery with two parents who genuinely love each other and have stayed together for more than 40 years. I went to good public schools and never worried about whether there would be food on the table.
I only applied to one college because I knew I’d get in. And I got a scholarship to go there.
I often had hand-me-down clothes. That and my acne were the biggest obstacles in my childhood. I’m not exaggerating.
And during that time, I leeched off the government collecting unemployment as I looked for work. So I still didn’t really need any bootstraps. I had a foundation of education, hard work and a financial safety net of family if it ever came to that.
I didn’t earn any of it. I didn't become male or white or straight through dedicated bootstrap pulling. I didn’t earn an upper middle class childhood with a solid education and extracurricular activities through blood, sweat and tears.
It was given to me. For free. Based on nothing I ever did.
So no. I’m not worried about President Trump. And I’m sorry about that. I’m as sorry about that as I am about anything in my life.
I’m sorry that my reflex is to assume things are going to be fine. I’m sorry I don’t feel the anguish of being afraid of what could happen. And I’m sorry that might lead to me not joining in protests and not signing petitions and not trying to make a difference.
I don’t feel threatened. I don’t feel marginalized. I don’t feel scared.
Because I am a double platinum member of the privileged club.
But I do know my bumper-laned experience with America isn’t anywhere close to what millions of others experience. And I do know that when you tell people to simply follow the American dream, work hard and bootstrap their way to the top you’re ignoring many of the systemic, insurmountable obstacles in their way.
And I do know I need to empathize with the millions of people who aren’t white and male and straight.
I mean, after all, white, straight males make up less than 50 percent of the U.S. population these days. So it’s probably time we start listening to the majority of Americans.