Speaking of privilege…
An interesting article caused a wave of indignation on The Root and Ebony this week when writer Asha French wrote an open letter to “racially ambiguous” girls (aka biracial and/or light skinned girls with long waves or corkscrew curls) where she suggested that they will be given certain privileges that they haven’t earned, but was simply there at birth. She both suggests that these girls reject the reality that they are the “new” beauty standard in media (yes; one look at all the print ads and commercials and mixed chicks are the new baby’s-bottom cuties), telling them to “play in the mud” and “cut their hair short,” while simultaneously advising them to leverage their privilege for “good” so as to affect some change.
Use your privilege for good. People will listen to you, so please have something to say. Read, listen, and engage. Repeat. When you realize that other voices are missing, use your granted power to bring them into conversation. Please don’t speak for them. The tellers of hard-to-hear stories need ears, not translators.
You didn’t earn pretty, so don’t be afraid to lose it. Cut all your hair off. Wear overalls like Janie. Play in the dirt. Wear what you like. Create looks. Go Goth. Age without complaint.
as my grandmother would say…”lawd jesus have mercy on this child”i took a deep sigh when i read the headline, i felt the inner ike turner rising up in me when i read, “use your privilege for good”, but alternate beatings from lena horne and eartha kitt wouldn’t help this poor, misguided woman who thinks that “passing” the paper bag test gives lighter black folk super powers.
i just can’t…and this woman just shouldn’t have.
Tall men, the statistics show that you have a given advantage in life and will have more success in your career, financial rewards and even male / female relationships. (On average)So, don’t allow yourself to take unearned promotions, raises, appeal to women, or any of the advantages being tall provides you.
Hmmm, somehow I just don’t see that happening. People play up what they and what society believes are sought after attributes. Athletes become athletic stars, great singers become popular, “good looking” men and women with acting talent own the air waves, geniuses become PHD’s and change the world, etc., etc.
Telling people not to use their “strong suit” (perceived or real) or at least socially based advantage is, well it’s foolish when you think about it. I mean who would tell say Michel Jordan it’s unfair for him to play Basket Ball “because of his natural genetic traits” or it was unfair of Whitney Houston to sing so well when most can’t just because she was born with an amazing voice?
My advice, use every possible advantage you have to succeed in life, and then use that success to help others. Absolutely remember where you come from and cherish it, but don’t let it keep you from your own future.