Sunday, June 25, 2017

Debating Privilege

A minister told me yesterday of outrage in a multiracial Church over a colleague who said that Whites had been privileged through inherited wealth. It could be any Church, today -- it is a common theme. The outraged members were Whites who said they had grown up in poverty. They left. OBSERVATION: My own family (which includes me) was poor, and for a few years very poor. I can see some differences, though. My family (potentially) had an escape hatch, while others did not, and we had preferential treatment in various ways. At the same time, I think one needs to consider what "privilege" is. The word tends to be used narrowly. Whether one is born Black or White, one has great privileges, only they may well be of different kinds. And some privileges we call curses.

POSTSCRIPT: The South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko wrote about "privilege at the expense of others". To define that would be important.

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