The Perils of Privilege
At the college where I teach, I get free parking: prime spots right on the edge of campus. Should my designated places fill up, I can help myself to any student space. Nice deal. For me.
How is student parking? Well, I don’t know exactly. They pay for parking and it’s farther away, but I’m hazy on the details. Unless they speak up, I won’t know how often they circle for half an hour or how long it takes them to walk from class to where they parked. Even if they do speak up, might I dismiss it? Might I think they’re just complaining to cover up a lack of effort?
This, in microcosm, is the peril of privilege. Those with even small amounts of power, education, and wealth can remain ignorant and unmotivated to change an unjust situation. We owe a great debt to the privileged who seek out the truth and act on it and to the unprivileged who dare to step into the light and speak: canaries in the coal mine we all inhabit.
Entitlement, Self-Blame, and Injustice
What if the aforementioned students shrug about parking injustice and suck it up?