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You Might Be Privileged If…

Years ago Jeff Foxworthy cracked up America with his laundry list of identifiers of who might, or might not, be a “redneck”. His comedy shed light on stereotypes as well as exploring cultural variations among different worlds existing side by side in the same country.

His voice has been in my head a lot lately, which is scary because usually the only voice in my head, aside from my own and that of my Spirit Guides, is Stephen King, and, well, I’m used to that.

What I am not used to is a steady stream of commentary in Jeff Foxworthy’s voice and delivery. Rather than expounding on the intricacies of rural American culture, this voice has a different message.

It is reminding me of the examples of who might, and might not be privileged. Here are a few examples of what I am realizing thanks to this voice, which I must add, has not been placed in my head by any effort of Mr. Foxworthy who as far as I know, has no idea his voice has been in my head, nor is aware of this blog.

You Might Be Privileged If….

If you can walk into any store, in pretty much any area, and take your time perusing freely with no intervention or looks of suspicion from shop owners…..

Youuuuuu might be privileged.

(get it?)

If you can meet your lover in public, hold hands, embrace, and kiss without fear of violence or harassment….

Youuuuuu might be privileged.

If you have never had a grade school teacher call you out in front of the class and tell you your mother spelled your name “wrong” because she gave you a unique non-anglican name (true story, I saw it happen)….

Youuuuu might be privileged.

If you have ever been rude to a police officer without having second thoughts about it costing you your freedom or your life (guilty as charged, I realize with regret)…

Youuuuuu might be privileged.

If you have never thought of yourself as a “them” or “us” group and assumed that everyone had such a freedom and peace of mind…

Youuuu might be privileged.

If you can wear whatever you want when you go out at night and not have to consider being harassed or victimized by others….

Youuuu might be privileged.

If during encounters with police you are treated as innocent until proven guilty….

Youuuuu might be privileged.

If you can reasonably expect that a school or workplace will be closed on holidays of significance to your religion or culture, if you do not typically hear others refer to your religion, holidays, or deities as “fake” or “made up”…

Youuuuu might be privileged.

If you can easily find people to help you advocate for yourself, your needs, and your community….

Youuuu might be privileged.

If you only have to think about your gender, race, skin color or appearance when filling out the demographics sheet in a doctor’s office or on other such occasions….

Youuuu might be privileged.

If you can easily find a plethora of toys, books, movies etc. portraying positive role models for your child with characters or images that your child can personally identify with….

Youuuuu might be privileged.

If your teachers, guidance counselors, community members, and family expected without a doubt that you would end up in college, not dead or in jail….

Youuuuu might be privileged.

If your accomplishments are attributed to talent and not to filling a quota

Youuuu might be privileged.

If you have never seen a look of surprise on someone’s face when you speak to them intelligently or articulately, because they were assuming you were neither because of your appearance….

Youuuu might be privileged.

If you have been able to speak your mind, knowing your message would be heard, if not agreed with, and if you have never needed a representative from a different social, religious, or cultural group to speak as an ambassador for you to make sure your message got across….

Youuuu might be privileged.

If you have ever made a complaint or expressed disagreement with an authority figure or an authoritative system and have been heard rather than denied, patronized, or ignored….

Youuuu might be privileged.

If your opinions are treated as yours alone and not billboards for a larger group…

Youuuu might be privileged.

Yes it is absurd to think of Jeff Foxworthy being in my head, and it is humorous to hear his voice recounting these examples of inequality, but the reality is no laughing matter.

I continue to check in and realize there is a world of experiences I have not had and can only relate to in my imagination, where Stephen King and Jeff Foxworthy have their dialog. There is a world of oppression, injustice and even violence that I have been privileged to not have to enter in this life time. A world I can only access remotely by asking others about their experiences, by reading books or watching documentaries. Can you say the same?