The Internet is on my nerve today, so I’m going to run away (or just focus on Pinterest and Instagram). But in case anyone is unclear on (or cares about) my position on privilege, here it is:
To acknowledge my privilege is not humiliating. It’s humility.
To have someone else point out a privilege when I did not see it on my own is not humiliating. Even if they are mad about it – the injustice of it – it is not humiliating to me. It’s really not actually about me at all. If I were to assume it’s about me? To expect the societal default that it’s about me? That’s a sign of privilege – an effect of the privilege of living in a world that goes out of its way to make all the things about me.
Is it sometimes hard for me to remove my head from my ass and listen to their point of view? Sure. But I have found that if I will check my defensive reaction long enough to listen, I will hear the heart behind the anger. It still may not be easy for me to hear, but my personal difficulties don’t invalidate their experience.
If you are white (in this country at least – I can’t speak to white experience in other countries), you are person of privilege, whether you feel that way or not. There may be other ways in which you are not privileged, or ways in which others are more privileged than you, but that doesn’t erase that you have it easier in some ways than others do. This is not your fault, but it is also not the fault of the person who is angry (and justifiably so) about it.
Just. Listen. There is a time to tell your story, but in the middle of someone else’s story is not that time.