I guarantee you won’t read this or respond if you are privileged
Posted On May 4, 2022
Mostly because you think the word privilege is somehow partisan and you’ve already written me off.
Which is fine with me. Because this post isn’t about you anyway.
Privilege is the situation in which you don’t have to deal with something that other people do as a normal part of their life. Privilege is not the situation where you have something extra. If you are privileged, you might still have a hard life, but just not as hard as someone else who has additional stuff to deal with that you don’t because of your privilege.
Privilege is the belief that you don’t have to deal with something because someone else will deal with it for you, as you think they should. Privilege is the belief that certain things don’t affect you either. If you think racism doesn’t exist because you don’t experience it, you’re privileged. If you think sexism doesn’t exist because you don’t experience it firsthand, you are privileged. If you think all sorts of things don’t actually happen because you don’t experience them, then you are privileged.
Being privileged means you are above things and people. It is the belief that your way of seeing the world is just so very right that it is beyond critique and that any criticism immediately starts off wrong because how could anyone see things differently from you since you see them the correct way.
Privilege believes that it is the norm by which everything should be measured and that everyone else needs to adapt to your ways.
Privilege doesn’t feel the need to respond, and if there is a response, it is passive aggressive.
And if you’ve read this far, I’m curious. Does any of what I wrote upset you? Are you really angry at me because you think I’m judging you? Does it feel like an indictment against you?
Here’s the crazy thing, I didn’t write with you in mind. Why would I? I wrote this as a critique of myself – really, different parts of my life. Things that I have to remind myself of because privilege blinds me from from seeing reality. Privilege creates a fantasy world that is seductive. But privilege is just as abusive as the any abusive system out there. No one benefits from abusive systems, they are just lied to. And everyone suffers in abusive systems. It’s just a matter of how.
Privilege is a sin in the sense that when I choose my privilege over caring about others, I am turning inward on myself and away from God and those made in the image of God. When I choose privilege, I am breaking a relationship with God, with myself, with others, and with the rest of creation.
Yet thankfully privilege dies from its own unsustainable weight. It dies when light shines on it and exposes it to reality. It dies when I take my faith seriously. It dies when I confess that I am in bondage to sin and cannot free myself. It dies. Thank God privilege dies! I just pray that privilege doesn’t experience resurrection.