I have some of the most intelligent and insightful listeners and followers both on social media and throughout. I get tons of unsolicited emails that tell me there are so many of us on the necessary path to making a difference. This message on privilege is profound.
Anyone who listens to my Politics Done Right radio/media program knows that I pull no punches on any line whether, religious, political, racial, or otherwise. Until identities matter no longer, we must play identity politics to solve our socio-justice-economic problems. We must plow into identities.
Today I got a message from a listener/follower that should warm all our hearts. We must use his realization to empower others like him to do the right thing. He wrote the following.
'I am committed to using my privilege'
My background: I grew as a spoiled white boy but I've always inherently eschewed the system, which isn't to say that I haven't benefited from my privilege. Fast forward to now. I'm a successful entrepreneur/consultant in the field of marketing tech/analytics. I'm 99.9% certain that my current situation would look very different had I been born poor or a minority/person of color.
On a personal level, there's an off chance I would have benefited from not growing up wealthy, meaning I had to overcome my sense of entitlement, or simply, put my work ethic sucked b/c I got everything I wanted growing up, but there's a much greater chance I would have gone to prison and faced obstacles, like being a convicted felon, that would have derailed things before they got started. Instead, I went to a treatment facility, which I've realized in the last couple of years was absolutely 100% white. All that is to say I am committed to using my privilege for good, and like you, I'm a results-oriented pragmatist!
Ironically, I have a close friend who earlier in his life got into trouble. He is a person of color. He got a good lawyer who got him deferred adjudication. He had to go into some meeting filled with others who got his same verdict. I remember him telling me, "Egberto, there were hundreds in that room and everybody was white." There was so much to what he was telling me. And the young man who sent me the message this morning understands it.
Who are the ones who make mistakes? All of us have the potential to do so. The issue is who get second chances. I would wager that most who got second chances like my friend ultimately turn out to be model citizens. But a systemically racist justice system has shaped society and justified the creation of a narrative that some identities in our communities are more prone to crime than others.
Make sure that you understand the unadulterated truth. But most importantly, spread and interject into conversations to enlighten.