The use of the term "white privilege," which I always felt was misplaced, has hit a whole new level now as a CNN commentator accused another "dark-skinned" reporter of exercising his "white privilege." Really? I thought it was "white" privilege. On the show, the CNN analyst, Areva Martin talking to David Webb, a FOX News host said, "Well, David, that’s a whole 'nother long conversation about white privilege, the things that you have the privilege of doing that people of color don’t have the privilege of," When Webb asked how he benefits, Martin said it's "by virtue of being a white male." Webb then responded, "Areva, I hate to break it to you, but you should’ve been better prepped. I’m black,"
So I guess Areva blew that one, but the whole idea of "privilege" defined by skin color is what should be blown up and done away with. The idea that there is such a thing as "white" privilege serves to subtly support a narrative that "whites" are "better off" than others. Why does anyone think that way?
I wasn't born as Bill Gates son, but I can imagine that his son had and has access to material items that I may never even see. That notwithstanding, I still don't believe that he has more "privilege" than I do. Here's why. I was raised with 5 siblings and while other kids with fewer or no siblings were often lonely, we can't ever remember using that word in the 1200 sq. ft. Charleston house of 8. I'm sure he didn't have that "privilege." Here's another one. My mom and dad were married for 60 years before my mom passed from cancer a few years ago at the age of 82. To see a couple maintain a relationship for that long serves as a great example and offers a model for those who observe it in their lives. What a great "privilege" that was. Another "privilege" I realized was due to the fact that my mom was a math teacher, therefore I excelled in math and placed out of entry-level math when I went to college. That's because of the "privilege" I had of having a math teacher right in my home. I could go on, but you get the point. I had a lot of "privilege" and so did you but you may have missed it. Often privilege comes disguised as an opportunity and when your back is against the wall, you have the privilege of making the most of that opportunity. Of course, that's the way I see "privilege" because I know that hardship makes one better. So that's "privilege" for me and everyone should determine the 'privilege" they have and make use of it.
Privilege is determined by what we value most. If we only value material possessions, then we will see privilege as those who have an advantage in material possessions. Big house, big car, boat and many other things. If, on the other hand, if you believe that character is the most valuable possession you can have, you will determine it a "privilege" to have the opportunity to build and gain more character and when it comes to that, who has the privilege? Nobody. Nobody is advantaged when it comes to becoming a man or woman of character and ultimately achieving great things in life. Excellence creates privilege and you can be excellent in any endeavor in any situation and that opportunity is present to everyone every day.
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