Systems have been put in place to benefit the few and keep the many supplicant. It’s true, what they say, everyone likes you better when you are on your knees. That statement is only as crude as you make it so I leave you to snicker.
So, the title and why I’m being so damn dramatic. First, I like the way it sounds. Second, it’s true. When the system fails me I am in no position to dismantle or challenge it and likely, neither are you. If you have not been failed by the system then chances are pretty high that you are benefitting from the system. I don’t say this with judgement of any kind. We are born into positions we did not choose. I was born, female, white and I inherited all of the privilege that comes with that position. I did not choose to be poor, to have a chaotic dysfunctional family, and I’m sure I did not choose any of my diagnosis.
What is important and what is worth examining (not judging) is what we do with our position. When I learned what it meant to have privilege, to be privileged I started to understand a reaction many Neurotypical people have when faced with the same reality. That is not who I am! I am not a bad person! I’ve had hardships in my life as well. This is all true and while it feels like privilege invalidates your beliefs about yourself and the world it is only a fact.
The sky is blue – Fact (sorry science friends, keeping it simple)
The world is round – Fact
We will all die – Fact
Those facts by themselves to not assume anything and they do not take anything away. They just are what they are. CIS, White, Males have inherent privilege – Fact. This does not insinuate what they do with that privilege, only that it was given at birth.
I am offering this as a challenge to every human that exists with any type of privilege. As a person of privilege how are you dismantling the systems that gave you your privilege? How might you be benefitting from the system (knowingly or unknowingly)? Are you protecting a system that determines your worth based on skin color, gender, gender identity, social and economic standing, etc.?
You might really have to dig to get the answers to those questions because along with the privilege we inherit there is also the social conditioning we have experienced from birth. This conditioning serves to tell us who we are in relationship to the system and why it benefits us to stay in our place. Maybe you can see the big stuff or maybe you see many different ways you’ve participated in the system.
Please do not judge yourself. Please believe me when I say I am not judging you either. One of the many benefits (for me) of being Neurodivergent is that I approach most things with logic and then my brain analyzes the data to determine the meaning. The down side of this is that for a long time I did judge you and everyone else that did not recognize their privilege. I assumed it was obvious to everyone and they simply chose a different narrative. I know now there is much more going on and I do understand how it can feel like a judgement.
The last thing I will ask of you (today) is that you in turn, do not judge the voices that have been shouting about privilege. It was never their job to tell us. It is always our job to question the system, to question ourselves and our participation. Those voices are frustrated from waiting generations for us to realize that we have been blindly following as system that is harming those that do not benefit from it. Regardless of your place in the system, they are allowed the hurt, trauma, anger, frustration. They are right to ask us to dismantle this system.
Peace and love to all of you out in the world. Comments, arguments, different perspectives and opinions are always welcome.
If you have a very strong reaction to this and feel like you need to respond I will be happy to publish that response on my blog as long as it is not harmful to anyone else.