Privileged, Me?

As part of my commitment to learn more about how I can contribute to changing systemic discrimination and facilitating uncomfortable conversations I am currently reading So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. I am only four chapters in so far, but she has promised that I will make missteps along this journey, and that is okay. One of the frequent mistakes that is made in having conversations about systemic discrimination is forgetting to check your own privilege. Its hard to think of myself as privileged as I grew up in a text book broken home in a working class community with mental illness, but privilege comes in many different forms. Oluo discusses the many ways in which privileges present and encourages reflecting on ones own privileges. She also noted that some privileges may also come with disadvantages in certain ways but they still provide a certain benefit.

So here I go, publicly exploring and checking my own privileges and hoping you will, at least privately, do the same. If I am overlooking a privilege, which is possible, let me know!

I am white.
I am cisgendered.
I lean toward heterosexual norms.
I was able to complete high school.
I was able to afford to attend college and complete my degree.
I am a US born American.
I speak fluent English.
I am child-free.
I have supporting, loving, grandparents, mom, and brother.
I was able to attend preschool.
I am able bodied.
I am neurotypical.
I am back in school working toward my masters degree.
I have stable housing.

I challenge you to comment with at least one way that you have privilege and I hope you will subscribe to my site and join me on this journey to a healthier community and improving mental wellness for all.

I am continuing to collect questions in order to facilitate an ongoing decision about race (Lets Talk About Race) but in the mean time will explore how I can better have these conversations. Next week I will share how we can use our privileges to help challenge systemic discrimination!

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2 thoughts on “Privileged, Me?

Add yours

  1. Very interesting article Ria, you always bring a refreshing point of view that I hadn’t thought about, as we always tend to dwell on the negative and disadvantages in our lives instead of the positives, or privileges as you put them.
    Although I find it hard to be objective in listing my privileges, some people may see them as privileges, but maybe they don’t feel as such to me.
    So it’s very relative when I think about my privileges, I ask myself: Has this been positive enough throughout my life to call it a privilege? Questions are raised in my mind, and it is subject for inner exploration and maybe changing my own way of thinking, and viewing those traits in me or conditions as pluses not negatives.
    For example; I speak three languages -positive; but I have been discriminated because I have an accent -negative.
    I am racially diverse with a mix of Italian and Spanish- positive?
    I’m not white – negative?
    And why should it be a privilege to be white to begin with. Thus all is relative depending on your values and your life experiences.
    Food for thought!
    Great article and conducive to self exploration and self re-evaluation.
    Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Laura, I love that this got you thinking! Some things will be both a privilege and negative depending on the situation. I am both white and Hispanic, my skin is white however so that has provided me with a benefit that dark skinned Hispanics don’t have. Also, child-free provides me of the benefit of not having to balance motherhood and career, but I am not blessed with a child which can be negative. This exercise is about looking at the little things that may provide you with a better opportunity then someone else.

      As to why is being white a privilege…I will add that question to the panel post I have coming up where I share my perspective as well as that of several of my black friends who have a different experience then myself.

      Like

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