Guilty of being White Privileged? I heard some rhetoric referring to white privilege and it hit me in the heart. What is supposedly white privilege? Let me recount my privileged life if I may to see if I am guilty. I was born into a family of meager means, hard working parents but struggling from one pay check to another to have food on the table. We were a family of two parents until they divorced and there were 4 children with only 4 years and 7 months difference between the oldest to the youngest. We were not “privileged” to be on any government assistance. All us children had to work outside the home on any jobs we could get and let me name a few so that “cushy jobs” are not assumed. Tobacco crop hand, cotton picking, pecan picker uppers, babysitting (some pretty rowdy children that might have been privileged) chicken catchers, produce grown and picked and taken to grocery stores before school, retail jobs before legal age, and many others I can’t put a finger on but if we could make any money we were willing. What, you may ask did we spend our privileged money on? Maybe clothes and shoes for school, you better believe it. Designer, no as we didn’t even know what designer clothes were. Did we “privileged white kids” wear $100 shoes, get to play on team sports where it might cost for uniforms; I think not.
Did I ever know what gourmet foods were? My privileged mind gourmet was anything our precious Momma cooked after she had worked all day in the school lunchroom. I wanted to go to college but there was no “funds” to make that happen; my parents cried when I graduated from high school on honor roll while working a part time job at Sears.
Oh, but wait, this reference to white privilege might refer to having a church wedding. Did I mention that I not only helped my Mother with bills since my parents had divorced but saved enough to pay for my wedding dress and decorations (which I helped decorate to save money) and thank God for Uncle Cecil Holt who gave us a wedding cake for our present. Did I accumulate wealth from taking from others? Well, let’s see. In the picture attached, I was given my Mom’s first birthday gift from my Dad (the cookie jar) which she treasured and had up until she gave it to me. I would say that qualifies me for being privileged. In conclusion, this white privileged girl wants to put it out there…..Yes, I guess I am a white privileged gal who had the privilege of working hard, good loving parents and siblings, and a God who saw us through all of this with love and mercy. Call me guilty if you must…..Until We Read Again…Arline Miller
I looked up the word PRIVILEGE to gather more information before I put my 100% sure I am a willing participant in this media hype.
noun: privilege; plural noun: privileges
a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group of people.“education is a right, not a privilege”
- something regarded as a rare opportunity and bringing particular pleasure.“I have the privilege of awarding you this scholarship”
- (in a parliamentary context) the right to say or write something without the risk of incurring punishment or legal action for defamation.noun: absolute privilege; plural noun: absolute privileges
- the right of a lawyer or official to refuse to divulge confidential information.
a grant to an individual, corporation, or place of special rights or immunities, especially in the form of a franchise or monopoly.
verb: privilege; 3rd person present: privileges; past tense: privileged; past participle: privileged; gerund or present participle: privileging
grant a privilege or privileges to.“English inheritance law privileged the eldest son”
As a white woman who is blessed to have friends of all races, ethnics, and genders, I am privileged so I am confused on placing a generic label on me. If it is because I am white, shame on you as I have always acknowledged people by their character and not color. Just so we confirm my privilege status at almost 68 years I am still working full time, write this blog which isn’t a revenue source but a way to inspire others to achieve and I have written and published two books but my proudest privilege is I am a loving Mother who has a great relationship with my daughter and my two step sons. If it is because it is easy to blame others than stand up and do something to better your surroundings, job, financial standing, etc. I say this to anyone who feels anyone is less qualified to gain a privilege status from hard work, education, family and faith….Get off your “privileged behind” and go to work. I believe in my motto: Live Life; Love Life and Live Life to the Fullest by finding out how privileged we are all to be God’s children.
(C)Copyright 2012-2017 Arline Miller with rights and privileges reserved. Third party material is referenced to original source with links when available.