Privilege

I want to preface this by saying that I don’t have any deep thoughts, or solutions, or meaningful words of consolation, to offer to anyone reading this. But I’ve had these thoughts in my head all day, and I need to get them out.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been very, very liberal, or left-wing, or whatever label you want to give it, and proudly so. However, I’ve never given much thought to the privileged place I have in this world. Somehow, yesterday’s horrible electoral result has forced me to face that.

How am I privileged? I’m a white heterosexual male, educated, living in one of the richest and safest countries in the world: Canada. I don’t need to worry about being harassed when walking down the street, or deal with prejudice every day from people and institutions (including those in positions of power). I have relatively easy access to health and educational institutions and services, credit, employment, lodging, and everything that me and my family needs, no matter how imperfect these may be.

But what does this have to do with the election? Well, I realized today that I am very privileged indeed to be living in Canada. I have the luxury of saying that the election of that most despicable and vile man does not directly affect me, really. Of course, it likely will affect me in ways unforeseen, because of what may happen on the world stage with him and his ilk leading Canada’s neighbour, the world’s largest economy and military. Still, it doesn’t affect me directly. I won’t have a Supreme Court potentially taking away my rights. I won’t have my access to health and education taken away from me. I won’t have to explain to my children why we have an increasingly militarized police force (well, not to the same extent as in the US, anyway). If I wanted to, I could pretty much ignore everything that’s happening south of the border. And at least for the next little while, I will do just that, for my own sanity and mental well-being (dwelling on the result, and the reasons for the result, kept me awake for most of last night).

However, I have friends south of this border. Friends who are legitimately afraid of what this election will bring to them and their loved ones. Afraid of the coming policies that will undoubtedly affect them directly, and not just for the next 4 years, but for many more beyond. To all my friends who are rightfully worried and scared: I love you all dearly, and I’m sorry. Today, I was made aware that I have a privilege that they don’t: I can say, “I am not stepping foot in the US as long as that man is President.” They have to live there.

5 thoughts on “Privilege

  1. I’m scared too, for many of the same reasons you mention above. My unsolicited advice, is to turn off the TV for a bit. Take a break from the endless news cycle. And try to remember that there are a lot of incredible people doing incredible things – for healthcare, for the environment, for human rights. And they aren’t going anywhere. It’s still scary – but Trump being in the Whitehouse doesn’t mean we’ll stop pushing for better things.

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    1. Thanks, man. I followed the election pretty closely, and I’m always reading about current events and politics and things. I definitely need a break from it all. The good thing about this election being over? I have time to start reading books again! I started reading this one last night, fascinating:

      https://www.amazon.com/Professor-Madman-Insanity-English-Dictionary/dp/0060836261

      So, yeah. Time to step back, let things run their course, and then think about what *I* can do in my life to continue doing good things. Thanks, Ryan. 🙂

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  2. Multiplicándote Saludos, Richardmtl
    Que te haya buscado es resultado de un tema con imgs que se brotó en mis publicaciones WPress.Com. Por algo similar, conversaste conmigo hace 3 años. Y me sugeriste el Español, ya que es más fácil para mí, como canal para comunicarnos. Esto por un lado: si me podrías decir la localización donde detallarte el nuevo tema técnico que yo querría solucionar. Por otro lado, me encuentro con este artículo tuyo, y desde la otra punta de América comparto aprensiones por las cosas que maquiavélicamente el Trump estuvo anunciando; ojalá que el rumbo de su gobierno no perjudique los derechos de la comunidad mundial. El deseo optimista está expresado con buen humor en un Tweet: “El Papa Francisco felicitó a Donald Trump porque tiene rezando a todo el mundo” (enlace). Tengan Richard y familia muy buenos días

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      1. Saludos Richard
        Retomamos el diálogo en lunes. Sólo teníamos conversado en una página de support-forum un asunto de slideshows. No hubo correos. Voy a mirar como siguen las cosas en mi blog y dsps las hablaríamos donde decís, correcto.
        Y sobre “Privilege”: Recordé mis eventos de abstención, no poner yo los pies donde hay calamidad, un poco como vos decís: “I am not stepping foot there as long as that man…” Pero sabés qué puede pasar?.. Que los tipos del entorno calamitoso se ocupen de acercarse a tu lugar; algo así me ha sucedido, no lo tuve en cuenta pero pasó; no hay que confiarse. Bueh.. Estés Bien

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