What does privilege mean? Does it mean having more than you need? Does it mean having more than your neighbors, or more than most? Does it mean being famous? Does it mean never having anything upset you? Does it mean never knowing what’s like to lose a loved one, a job, a friend, or a home? Or does it mean to never know the pain in your stomach after a week without food? Does it mean never knowing what it’s like to have multiple members of your family incarcerated or murdered? Does it mean never having to face the edge of your morality just so that you can see another day?
I have privilege. I am privileged to have been born a white male, and a 3rd-4th generation U.S. citizen. I am privileged to have two parents that dedicated their lives to raising and providing for their family. I am privileged to have a sister with severe disabilities, teaching me a level of responsibility and compassion that some might never know. I am privileged to have had access to good public schools and important people in my life that encouraged me to work hard. I am privileged to have known love, loss, joy, torment, pride, and hopelessness, all while never going hungry or without a home. I am privileged to have been accepted to a good college, struggle through the recession and alcoholism to find a job with salary and benefits, only to make the choice to take time off from working for someone else to chase the dream of being self-employed as a musician. I am privileged in the very fact that I can write this down and share it with people who will read it and engage with me at any level.
Just as the question asked has many answers, many people share my circumstances varied though they may be. If we have anything in our lives that we can be grateful for, we should consider it a privilege. If we are comfortable enough to have opinions on issues that don’t affect us in our day-to-day, consider it a privilege. When others act in a way that we don’t understand, consider it a privilege to listen to what they have to say, even if we don’t agree with their actions. Consider it a privilege to have someone help us realize how fucking privileged we actually are.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hailing from East Atlanta Village, Jason Murray is currently a full-time musician and entrepreneur. His main projects include exwhy, Megafuss Media & Booking, and tourdiy.org. The opinions expressed in this article are his solely and do not necessarily reflect the attitudes and opinions of Immersive Atlanta.