Privilege is defined as “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group”.
As a white-skinned man, you have always been granted the privilege to “sit at the counter”, drink from a water fountain, live in the better neighborhoods, be given credit for some degree of intelligence, admitted to the school of your choice, enter in the business of your choice, ride in the front of the bus, vote for the candidate of your choice. Women have had to fight hard for these privileges. People of color have had to fight harder for these privileges.
Even today, when equality is purportedly granted to all, some experience much more privilege than others.
As a wealthy white man, you have always had more privileges than those of a lower “class” or income group. As a wealthy man, you have always had the privilege of being able to hire the “best” in any field – which often directly affects the end result – think O.J. Simpson. As a wealthy man, you can “buy” your way into the most elite groups, influence those who have power, control the outcome of many situations. As a wealthy white woman, you have had to work hard to have the right to claim wealth as your own, to be in control of your property and your life. As a person of color, you have had to work even harder for those privileges, those rights.
We are called the “United States of America”. The states may be joined into a united entity, but the people of the states seem to be less united – fractured. Driven apart by beliefs, beliefs that are influenced by those with power, with wealth, with influence. Those with power and influence appear to thrive on creating and enlarging those fractures, feeding into the frenzy of our frustrations, our feelings of not being heard. Rather than working to unite us, to heal the fractures, those in power seem to be concerned only for obtaining more power, more control.
Our government has been fractured for some time, and seems to be growing more so. Our government seems to be more intent on working for a political party than for its people. Our government seems to be more intent upon gaining more privileges, playing up to those with wealth, power, influence than gaining more privileges, wealth, power and influence for the “common” man.
Does the inequality of privilege create the fractures?
Does the greed for power and influence grow the inequality and the fractures?
The people of this country used to disagree, but we didn’t fracture.
The people of this country used to experience less distance between the “classes”. There was once a middle class – not just the upper or upper upper and lower classes.
We used to be more united. Less fractured.
I long for the day we again see our country united and an equality in privileges. For the day we gain privileges because we deserve them without regard to skin color, not because we can buy them.