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September 18, 2019

Something I’ve noticed is people with the most privilege are most likely to deny it exists. Or at least muddy the waters enough so any attempt to bring attention to it falls apart.

It’s most often the second one since it’s easier to disguise it as only “asking a question” or “trying to be fair.”

Why does this happen? My guess is it makes it easier for them to believe their privilege wasn’t a factor in their success. In a society with the core mantra “hard work will get you there,” it’s tough to accept we had some built-in cheat codes. I still struggle with this myself and it’s painful.

That changes the more I read about the world and others’ lived experiences. It’s harder for even the most defensive part of my brain to deny it. So while it hurts, I keep listening. When I get the urge to push back against facts and lived experiences, I remember to listen.

If you want to practice listening, I recommend this site.