I did not grow up in a wealthy family. I never wore designer clothes, couldn’t afford a car until I was 21 (and, boy, was it a clunker). I paid my own way through college – sometimes working three jobs at a time – and still graduated thousands of dollars in debt.
But I was still privileged.
I am white, and I had many people along the way who gave me chances. Yes, I worked hard, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without the lucky breaks I got throughout my life.
For a long time, I dismissed anyone who put me in that “privileged” category. Because I had worked so, so hard – and I went to school with people who could take a private jet to see a Broadway show on a whim or wear their clothes once and give them away. I was not in their league, I argued.
It took me many years to understand that “privileged” is not synonymous with” rich,” and that, despite all of my hard work and the many times I held my breath at the ATM when I tried to withdraw cash, I still had advantages that others do not.
In my series of weekly anti-racist posts, I am trying to learn more about myself and improve my own attitude along the way. I’m also trying to share resources with teachers for discussing anti-racism in the classroom. I hope that some of you will show this comic to your students, and open up a discussion about “privilege.” And I hope that some of them will come to the conclusion that while no one should be punished for being privileged, we need to do a better job of making sure no one should be punished because they are not.
Here is a list of my previous anti-racist posts:
- PBS Kids Talk about Race and Racism
- Free Anti-Racist Resources from BrainPop
- Dear Mr. Shakespeare
- Why We Must Not Cancel the Holocaust
- Lessons Learned
- Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices
- Anti-Racist Resource Guide
- Systemic Racism Explained
- Stamped Digital Readers Notebook
- Brainpop: Black Lives Matter Protests
- 21-Day Challenge
- When Your “President” Says “Kung Flu”
- Texts for Talking About Race
- I Don’t See Color
Also, for more amazing anti-racism resources, check out the Live Binder curated by Joy Kirr.