Privilege exists all around the world, and it’s levels of privilege are not necessarily uniform. Were I to move to a country where the average person earns $5 a week, certainly I would be considered an extremely wealthy person, if I moved to another state in the US I might be considered upper middle class, but also too if I tried to move to New York City I would be destitute, and unable to afford even a small studio apartment.
I do not consider myself as privileged, I have worked all my life from when I was 12, to where I am now closing on 60 in 2 1/2 years. I have worked at my current job since 1986. My wife has worked all of her life. Do we have a small home? Yes we do, technically the mortgage company owns the home, but some day I will. We cannot afford for either of us to not work. We don’t take vacations, in fact Facebook reminded me a few weeks ago that the last I took, 3 days at Disney World, was 10 years ago. I do not consider the color of my skin privilege, it did not give me an advantage in school. It did not help me get a job, I graduated because I studied hard, I worked some nights, and on weekends, my current job paid $5.50 an hour when I started.
I do not consider your age, or gender, or ethnicity as being privileged one way or another. Those that I consider privileged are those that have the luxury to sit at home all day reading through social media, combing out all the stories of how Old White dudes are ruining the world, sitting on their new DX racer chair cackling in glee when people agree with them about how bad the world is, and that everyone should do all they can to improve the world for everyone else, you should feel horrible because of your gender and skin color. And they just don’t see that they are the ones causing the problems.
Who has more privilege, the older white man that has worked all of his life, living paycheck to paycheck, hoping that he doesn’t get sick, or laid off from work, or the person that stays at home all day admonishing the world because they are fortunate to have a spouse that makes enough money so they can stay home.
The world is full of celebrities and the super wealthy, but also people that do not have problems with wondering what bill needs to get pushed off for a week, that seem to feel that because of their status in life, that they get to dictate to everyone else what we need to be doing. To them the system is broken, all blame can be placed at the feet of the person or group of people it’s fashionable to single out this week. They say don’t vote Trump, he’s an old rich white dude, vote Biden, or Sanders, who are old rich white dudes. It is laughable at times how arguments will focus on someone or some thing, but the counter position is just the same.
Right now the US is tearing itself apart because one group refuses to stand up to the mob for fear that they will lose their votes in November and are willing to give them anything they want, and the other party just sitting back watching the world burn because they want to see the other party give it all away. At some point these “protesters” will find themselves surrounded by others like themselves fighting over scraps of food because all of the stores have been cleared out, and businesses will just stay closed. They will make demands that food and water need to be brought in, and they will probably get it for a time. But eventually they will all leave, the mess will be left for others to clean up, and those privileged protesters, the ones collecting $600 a week in addition to unemployment will figure out that the majority of the country just doesn’t care about your cause, because you resorted to violence and intimidation to make your point.
Privilege is not just your station in life, it’s what you choose to do when you could be working to make the world better. Be it sitting at home glued to Facebook or Twitter, or hanging out for a protest sit in getting high, and complaining about how others have it so much better. Getting ahead in life, making the world better, takes work. Not sitting behind a computer pointing fingers, or smashing a store window and stealing a handful of iPhones.