July 18, 2023


It's easy to be privileged without realizing it.

When I was in high school, along with our required classes each term, we needed to choose electives. It was important to submit a request early, because they were supposedly assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Popular choices like drama and creative writing filled up fast. I was lucky, though. Even when I submitted my requests at the last minute, I managed to get the classes I wanted. Whew!

Did I mention that my dad was a teacher at this school? No, he wasn't intervening on my behalf. It wasn't until 10 years later that it dawned on me that someone in the administration office was giving me special treatment just because I was a teacher's kid. (The son of the chemistry teacher also led a charmed life.) Seriously, I actually didn't realize I was privileged, but thought it was just the luck of the draw.

As an adult, I'm slightly less naïve. When people get defensive and claim they don't have white privilege or male privilege, or whatever special privilege they have, I wonder how they can still be as oblivious as a kid in school who thinks this is just the way life is. @realrkwest


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