Take This Quiz To Find Out How Privileged You Are
Start writing a post

The thing about privilege is that it many times goes unnoticed by those who possess it. This year, one of my classmates in my literature class made the over-simplified claim that “All you need is hard work and perseverance, that’s what I have. People need to stop blaming their race for their own laziness.” However, when the teacher and students further questioned him, it was revealed that he not only was living as a majority being a white male, but he also lived in a household with two incomes, went to a prestigious high school and would be leaving college debt free. While I am not undermining his hard work or the fact that perseverance can lead to success, it’s necessary to note the other factors playing a role in it.

Like my classmate, we all have privileges that we many times forget to factor in and can attribute to our achievements. Because of this, I made a list of 20 privileged statements that can be forgotten. As you’re reading through them, make a mental note of how many statements are true for you.

1. I can go into a music shop and count on finding the music of my race represented, into a supermarket and find the staple foods that fit with my cultural traditions, into a hairdresser’s shop and find someone who can cut my hair.

2. I can remain oblivious of the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world’s majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.

3. I can criticize our government and talk about how much I fear its policies and behavior without being seen as a cultural outsider.

4. If a traffic cop pulls me over or if the IRS audits my tax return, I can be sure I haven’t been singled out because of my race.

5. I can choose blemish cover or bandages in 'flesh' or 'nude' color and have them more or less match my skin.

6. My academic, artistic, and athletic skills are rarely ever attributed to my race.

7. If my phone or other electronic device is damaged or stolen, I have the financial means to get a replacement.

8. I have never walked into a facility and been the only person of my race represented.

9. I have gone a significant amount of time without a job and have instead used money from parents, savings accounts or inheritance.

10. I am conscious of fashion trends and popular brands and try to buy clothing accordingly.

11. I have never had to worry about not being able to find something to eat or somewhere to sleep.

12. If I come across something at a store that I really want, I will most likely buy it.

13. If I am sick or don’t feel well, I won’t have to decide to not go to the doctor because of financial reasons.

14. I can go to places by myself at any time of the day without fearing for my safety.

15. The schools I attended or am attending have updated textbooks, computers, printers and qualified teachers.

16. Whether I decided to go or not, college is or has been an expectation, not a far-fetched dream.

17. People don’t seem surprised if they realize I am actually intelligent, hard-working or honest.

18. I am never asked to speak for all members of my race.

19. I never feel hindered or treated differently due to a physical or mental disability.

20. I will most likely find my race widely represented on television, magazines, advertisements, etc.

(1-5 was taken from one women’s individual experience with privilege in her paper, “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”)

If you were able to find truth in even just one of the statements above, you are privileged.

However, a takeaway from this exercise shouldn’t be that it's a competition to see who is more discriminated against. In the end, everyone has qualities and circumstances that give them the upper hand and it is important to be aware and grateful for these.

Our society has a tendency to disregard every structural issue this country possesses that hinder certain minorities from reaching their potential, and instead point the blame and responsibility to the individual. This “American Dream” that gives people the impression that success is possible for everyone completely ignores the advantages for some and the barriers for others. So, instead, let’s be aware of our privileges and understand that while success is attainable for everyone with the right amount of hard work, the plain and simple truth is that success comes a lot easier for privileged people.

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

That's right, you heard that correctly: Demi Lovato and Max Ehrich called off their engagement after the couple originally announced their engagement in July after beginning to date in March.

Keep Reading... Show less

Demi Lovato's Called-Off Engagement Reminds Us Of The Importance Of Taking Our Time In Relationships

While this may be another hardship she sadly has to endure, I know she will find a way to inspire and help others through it.


I am heartbroken.

Keep Reading... Show less

Freshly popped buttered popcorn in your lap and a glass full of crisp Coca-Cola is at your side. All the lights are turned off and you are tucked into a cozy blanket. You have the whole day off and no responsibilities besides refilling your popcorn bucket. Now all you have to do is decide on what movie to watch, but you know one movie will not fulfill your need of relaxing all day. A movie marathon is the only answer to your problem. In case you did not know what movie series to start with, try a few of these.

Keep Reading... Show less
A Touch Of Teal

It's the oldest story in the world: one day a new tv show comes on and you fall in love with each character and their story. In 2003, the show "One Tree Hill" was born and stole the hearts of fans of many ages. Torn between the sweet, underdog Lucas and tough, popular boy Nathan, people became hooked through the family and relationship drama the characters went through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.


Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Keep Reading... Show less

"Keeping Up With The Kardashians" is coming to an end after 20 seasons of intense drama, family bonding, and Scott Disick. It's sad for some and a relief for others who find the show way overhyped.

Keep Reading... Show less

Starbucks is known for its infamous coffee and espresso drinks, but they're definitely isn't enough love shown for the non-coffee drinks. Being a barista myself, I've come to try all of the following drinks. And let me tell you…they're amazing. So if you aren't a huge fan of coffee or if you're just sick of the same old same old, here are some new drinks to keep your inner white girl alive and thriving.

SEE MORE: Starbucks Has Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cold Brew And OMG It Has Pink Foam

Keep Reading... Show less

What was usually buried at the bottom of my purse has now become a pocket essential — and I know I'm not alone in that.

It used to be something I'd use if I happened to be at a restaurant that ran out of soap in their bathroom, but now it's almost more essential to have on-hand at all times than my cell phone.

Keep Reading... Show less

The decision-makers of Yale's law students have invested in therapy dog sessions in order to reduce stress. In 2011, Yale Law Library had a sign-out sheet for their certified library dog. The 30-minute sessions were equipped with unconditional, stress-busting puppy love.

Law Librarian Blair Kauffman stated that the free, three-day pilot pet therapy program at Yale Law Library launched as "a positive addition to current services offered by the library."

Keep Reading... Show less

I have been working at Dunkin' Donuts for over two years, and during this time, I have progressed from regular crew member to crew coach, and finally, to shift leader. Among my great skills involving the job is my ability to deal with stressful situations, including awful customers. My boss has continuously pointed out the fact that I am able to handle these people with grace and kindness. She herself often finds that she gets snippy with rude customers, but somehow I am able to keep a straight face through these tough times.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments