by Marsha Rakestraw
“Privilege is not in and of itself bad; what matters is what we do with privilege.” ~ Bell Hooks
Many of us have privilege. And some of us feel defensive about that, because we fear it means that others think we’re doing something wrong, or that we don’t have struggles ourselves.
But privilege is a truth.
Many of us can go into a store and browse without concern that we’ll be monitored or accosted. We’re not worried that police will shoot us, rather than help us. We see people who look like us in the media. We can walk down the street without fear of being raped or cat-called.
We don’t have to worry that we’ll be penalized for our looks or class or gender or race or sexual orientation.
Despite increasing awareness, privilege is still pervasive — because it’s embedded into our systems and institutions, and it’s largely invisible to those of us who benefit from it.
As part of creating a just, compassionate world, it’s essential that we teach ourselves and others about issues related to privilege and that we create solutions that benefit all.