Why Can’t You Just Own Your Damn Privilege?

Nancy Daley
3 min readDec 27, 2021

It’s not that hard.

Can you spell “irony” for me? (Author’s photo)

Come on, white people. Let’s resolve to do better, shall we?

Wowza, do privileged people resist admitting they’re privileged! Why is that? It isn’t something that can be taken from you, if that’s what you’re afraid of. Not that doing a little power-sharing would hurt you all that much, but on the topic of privilege let’s do try to relax.

We won’t even start with how hard you have worked to get where you are. That, friends, is a deflection. Try to remember there are people who could work ten times as hard and never get to where you are. Privilege is not something we worked for, except in rehab when we wanted to get out for the weekend. That’s why we call it “privilege.”

And just as the word “but” renders an apology completely nullified (actually, it turns an apology into an attack, a topic for another day), here the word “but” (often followed by “what about”) proves the point. It proves you are privileged, with a bit of asshole topspin to boot.

Why can’t you just clam up and listen?

I had to get a Ph.D. before it became easy for me to say, “I don’t know.” Please don’t put yourself through that torture just so you can get to a place where you can imagine other people might have something to teach you. Not knowing is way more interesting than knowing everything; you can even scour the internet by yourself so no one knows you still have to learn stuff.

Here’s another little thought experiment for you; I know you love them so much. Pick a person who’s a different race and lower on the food chain than yourself, and go ahead and trade places with them. Maybe not for life, that would be too hard. Maybe just for a traffic stop.

I saw a video the other day of a middle-aged white guy throwing a huge temper tantrum at a police officer because the police officer knew that said middle-aged white guy had just sideswiped the cruiser in which he was sitting, and drove away. The tantrum went on way way longer than it would have if the man had been a different color.

Come on, admit it.

That wasn’t so difficult, was it? (And none of that “The white guys get arrested too,” even though the above referenced charmer was in…

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Nancy Daley

Artist, food-worshipper, grouch, retired psychologist and uni lecturer (Human Sexuality). Currently running for Queen of the Universe.