There has been a lot of discussion lately about “privilege.” You may have even asked yourself, “What is privilege, and do I have it?”
The dictionary defines privilege as “a special right, advantage or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group.”
As was the case with racism, you can be privileged and fully aware of the advantages you’ve been afforded; but you can also be privileged and oblivious to your own entitlement.
So, once again, I thought I’d provide a short guide to help with your self-reflection.
If no one has ever looked at you and asked where you are from, you are probably privileged.
If you have never had to worry about being in the wrong place at the wrong time, you are probably privileged.
If something turns up missing and you are never a suspect, you are probably privileged.
If you spend a lot of time wondering what you are going to have for dinner instead of whether or not you are going to have dinner, you are probably privileged.
If you view being pulled over by the police as a minor inconvenience instead of a potentially life-threatening encounter, you are probably privileged.
If you are having trouble deciding which college to attend instead of trying to figure out if college is a possibility, you are probably privileged.
If no one has ever complimented you on the way you carry yourself or seemed surprised that you knew how to use proper English, you are probably privileged.
If the class you took on American history back in high school was your history, you are probably privileged.
If you’ve never been asked to represent “your people,” you are probably privileged.
Finally, if you’ve ever wondered if you were privileged, you probably are.
So now you know.