On Unacknowledged Privilege
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

On Unacknowledged Privilege

You don't even realize how good you have it.

On Unacknowledged Privilege

Privilege isn’t something you learn—not consciously anyways—it’s something that seeps into your life through days, week, months, and years of situations and circumstances which allow you to lead a certain life, unaware of the hardships that many others face. Some people learn to acknowledge this privilege and use it to their benefit purposefully, others acknowledge the privilege and use it to the benefit of others, and yet others—the vast majority—have no idea of the privilege they hold. This is for those of you in the third category.

Dear Pnacknowledged Privilege:

This year I saw you in class and around campus —more times than I can count—and listened to you spew your ignorant words about how poor people don’t deserve welfare, or a living wage. I listened to you call women “feminazis” because they called you out when you said something offensive. I watched you ignore the struggles of others and instead share your own drama with the world because, in your eyes, you had it far worse than the other person ever could.

I know you didn’t realize how horribly untrue the things you said were, I mean, how could you? You’ve never known any different.

College is supposed to be a time when you learn about the rest of the world—not just about the little bubble most people have lived in for their whole lives. This is the time for you to realize that just because your family was able to succeed and overcome the obstacles in their way, that doesn’t mean other people don’t need help.

Maybe – as one student in my class shared—you were raised by a single parent, but they were able to manage a mortgage and a job without you needing any public assistance, and this leads you to believe that people on welfare don’t deserve assistance because if your parent could do it, so can everyone else. You spew words—and even tears—about how you “just don’t understand why other people can’t do it on their own.” But, you don’t notice the student who leaves class shaking to call her parent, because you’ll never understand how it feels to have to rely on assistance and charity for almost everything in your life.

You call people “feminazis” and radical feminists when they speak up for the injustices that surround us. But, every time you tell someone that they’re being ridiculous or are overreacting you’re only adding fuel to the flames of injustice. Just because you don’t see the effects of gender inequality doesn’t mean it’s not alive and thriving.

When the school creates its first gender-neutral bathroom or when your dorm bathroom becomes gender neutral, you insist that this is going to cause problems or inconvenience you. You say these things with no regard to the struggles of others. You give no thought to the students who already feel threatened by harsh opinions and words as well as policies that refuse to protect them.

You complain about how much financial aid others get in comparison to you without ever thinking about why other people might get more than you. You don’t consider that maybe, just maybe, your family is better off than most other people in this country, so there is a reason you don’t get FAFSA or other need-based financial aid. It doesn’t matter that those around you have to work multiple jobs all-year round, not only to pay their own way through college, but to help their family as well. When your school offers scholarships to international students, refugees, or those from war-torn countries, you scream "Help the Americans first!" It's hard to hear you though over the sound of more than three quarters of your classmates (probably including yourself) who are receiving some sort of financial aid.

When racists spread hate speech on your campus, you shrug it off. To you, this obviously isn’t a major issue, I mean, this is the first time you’ve heard about an issue. People affected by these crimes point to centuries of oppression, continued brutality by law enforcement, and deliberate institutional disenfranchisement. When minority people are murdered by authority figures, you’re the first to defend the murderer at all costs, no matter the situation, without ever acknowledging the true circumstances that led to the horrific event.

When the your school discusses the importance of updating dorms to make them wheelchair accessible, you immediately object to the project because you don't want tuition to be raised. You don't consider the fact that very few of the buildings on your campus are actually reasonable for a person with disabilities to maneuver. You figure it's not your fault, so why should you have to deal with it? It doesn't even affect you.

This letter isn’t just for the benefit of a few select people, it’s to the general masses who refuse to acknowledge how lucky they are just because of who they are and not because of what they have overcome. It’s time to wake up, recognize your privilege, and do something about it. It’s time to realize that we need to help each other, even if that means we have to let ourselves be knocked down a few privileged pegs.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Olivia White

"The American flag does not fly because the wind moves it. It flies from the last breath of each solider who died protecting it."

Keep Reading... Show less

Separation Anxiety in Pets

Separation anxiety in pets is a real thing and recognizing the warning signs is important.


Since March, Covid-19 required most of the world to quarantine in their homes. Majority of people ended up working from home for nearly five months. This meant pet owners were constantly with their pets giving them attention, playing with them, letting them out etc. Therefore, when the world slowly started to open up again and pet owners began returning to normal life work schedules away from the home, pet owners noticed a difference in the way their pet acted. Many pets develop separation anxiety especially during this crazy time when majority people were stuck inside barely leaving the house.

Keep Reading... Show less
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments