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  • Writer's pictureYonv Joseph

Privilege and Pancakes

I had a conversation a few months ago with a white friend about privilege. To be honest, it was more of me listening and what I took from that conversation was that this person felt like he/she was not privileged because of the hardhsips endured, the challenges faced, life problems and so on; another thing that was brought up is the idea that this friend doesn't use their skin color to gain or get by in life. Rather than giving an immediate and emotional response, I took a minute to let their words sit. I distracted myself by playing some video games, getting some exercise, watching Rick & Morty and I even had gluten free pancakes with blackberry marmalade for dinner, like champs do. Once down to the last few bites of my pancakes, I thought to myself, "I got it." I called my friend back and said, "White privilege is not what you use but rather what you are given, and what you are given is the benefit of the doubt. You are a normal person who is granted the opportunity to prove society otherwise, whereas I, we, are otherwise and must prove that we are normal. So, imagine if you had to call the police because someone broke into your house but also had to convince the police that you didn't break into your house. Privilege doesn't negate your problems, it just shields you from...well you get it." This friend got it. Furthermore, it is this benefit of the doubt that allows this friend the option to choose whether he or she will participate in the movement currently taking place, for should this friend choose to opt out, it would change nothing in this friend's daily life; but I, we, yet again, have no choice. I really really hope that this made sense and provided some clarity because I'm completely out of gluten free pancake mix.

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