In the wake of last week’s insurrection, we continue to hear and echo a variation of two phrases – “There would’ve been a different response if they were people of color..” and “This is not who we are.” Though both phrases hold importance and are relevant to the larger conversation, they seem to be guiding us further away from the work that lies ahead, and the path forward.
This is not just a social/political conversation, and more than ever before, we need to be courageous enough to take the conversation further. If we are to bring about real and lasting change. We need to be able to address privilege and bias in ways that connect to all of the spaces we occupy. Thinking about our personal privilege – how we embody it, how we wield and/or weaponize it, how we use it for personal gain or can learn to put it to use for the good of the greater collective- is a good place to start.
When we talk about having privilege, it isn’t just about “White Privilege.” Having/Being “Privileged” is about the circumstances of your life that operate within a system of privilege to give you benefits/advantages over others that you never asked for. Part of having privilege also means that you get to direct/re-direct the narrative, even if the narrative isn’t exactly accurate. So that declaring in this or any other moment, “this isn’t who we are,” is also an act of privilege with several layers of ‘otherization’ beneath the claim. Now is a good time to check your privilege by taking the survey linked below. Checking your privilege can help bring awareness to how privilege may be shaping the way that you are thinking about, working through, and responding to recent events. The questions included in the survey are not exhaustive, but asking oneself questions like the ones included in the survey is an important step toward revealing the areas where privilege exists in your life, and how you embody your privilege. It also demonstrates for the taker, the complexities of privilege, oppression, bias, and intersectionality.
If we think about how and how much privilege converges in any given space; and how it functions in relationship to the people in the space, how it helps form bias, how it fuels prejudice, how it feeds all of the ‘isms,’ how it can be used in the work of allyship, how it grows cultural competence, and how it can bring about and sustains social justice, we will sooner understand who we are, the work to be done, and the path forward.
You can check your privilege by clicking here and taking our survey. The survey should take less than 8 minutes to complete.
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