Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dr. CHE Sadaphal — Privilege

"This is not an article concerned with race—that is, “pro-this” and “anti-that.” This is an article about privilege, a force whose effects are potent yet so well assimilated that those who have the most of it fail to realize it even exists. It is a force that transcends assignment to specific cohorts and permeates all of human history and experience.
Over the past several weeks, Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times has written several informative and insightful op-eds called “When Whites Just Don’t Get It.” There, he pushes back against several of the “white delusions” about life in modern America of people of color and draws upon several sources in order to conclude that not only do race relations deserve more attention but also that we live in a very unequal society, where many experiences are not universal.
Although I enjoyed reading Mr. Kristof’s articles, I think that singling out “whites” is an incorrect path to take. Privilege is blind to the individual, and no matter who you are—black or white, male or female, rich or poor—it will undeniably change the way you see and interact with the world. Thus, this applies either to a single black female billionaire who “just doesn’t get it” or a dirt poor, unemployed single white male who “just doesn’t get it.” In order to get it, one must first realize that their experience is not normative and that it is a direct result of a passive phenomenon that requires no active engagement. A celebrity who walks into a room without doing anything highlights this point exactly. The genuine truth of reality can only be achieved by embracing the subjectivity and contextuality of our experiences."

Read complete article here