I hear and read the phrase “check your privilege” thrown around often. If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, it means that one is told to be aware of the unfair advantages that society has given them.
Yes, I admit I am privileged, and you are too.
Everyone who is stereotypically “unprivileged” in America is still privileged simply because of the country they are born into. Everyone in America is privileged. Even those who live in poverty, those who are minorities, those who are uneducated and those who live in inner-city dwellings are still privileged because of systems put in place to help them.
Let me explain:
If you are hungry, are there soup kitchens you can go to and get a hot meal for free? Yes.
If you need groceries, are there food banks where you can get free groceries? Yes.
Are you at risk for starving to death? No.
Can you drink water without having to worry about parasites, bacteria or feces in the water? Yes.
Do you have to walk miles for water? No.
Are there paved roads so you can get around? Yes.
Is education free for K-12? Yes.
Do you have to walk miles upon miles to school? No.
Can you read? Of course, if you are reading this article.
Do you have access to doctors? Yes.
Do you have to walk for days to receive medical treatment? No.
Is there public transportation you can use if you do not have a car? Yes.
Are there programs there to help if you are struggling in school? Yes.
Is there a civil war happening in America? No.
Are there child soldiers in your country? No.
Are you murdered solely because of your ethnic background? I like to think the answer is no.
Are you killed because of your faith? No.
Are you allowed to practice any religion you want? Yes.
Do you have more than one meal a day? Probably.
Do you have to scrounge the dump to find food? No.
Are you at risk for being sold into the sex trade/slavery by your own family? No.
Are you in such a desperate situation where you would consider selling your family members? No.
Are you at risk for being married off to an older man before you reach adulthood? No.
Are you living at a refugee camp? No.
Is there more than one room in your house? Probably yes.
Sadly, these situations are the reality for many in the world, but this is not the case for American citizens.
This is not to undermine the struggles people go through in America. Yes, people and systems are broken even in America, but life is significantly easier in America than in other countries.
If you think you are not privileged, please go to a third world country’s slum and live with them for awhile. It will change your mind.
And if you do not agree with any of this, please comment why. Writing is supposed to bring up new thoughts and invoke discussion.