Loaded Words: Privilege2 min read

Some words have changed their meaning in our lexicon as they have been used by specific groups. A word like privilege has become something that is associated with a group of people that isn’t repressed, versus the more traditional meaning of being granted a right that you earned.

Terms like “white privilege” invoke a powerful meaning that can’t be dismissed. As someone who is white, I understand that I am given an advantage due society’s biases and perceptions in a lot of situations. I also acknowledge that I am extremely lucky to have been put into a lot of good situations in my life.

Having said that, there is a huge amount of creep for what the meaning of privilege is now to some groups of people. “Privilege” has become a concept unto itself that is meant to encompass every thought and action for groups of people like the social justice warriors.

  • Were you born a man? You should feel guilty for that privilege and atone publicly, non-stop.
  • Were you born white? You should feel guilty for that privilege and atone publicly, non-stop.
  • Were you born outside of poverty? You should feel guilty for that privilege and atone publicly, non-stop.
  • Do you have arms that work? You have an advantage over everyone who doesn’t and you must atone now.
  • Were you born with eyes? You are a horrible person, you need to atone.
  • Can you breathe without the aid of a machine? This is an atrocity against the natural order, and since others don’t have this advantage you should post a 100,000,000 word essay on your guilt for being given this privilege.
Donald Trump is a reaction to the rhetoric of the social justice warriors. All things in balance. Now that it is acceptable to say that I have breathing-without-a-machine privilege it is also becoming acceptable to be a white supremacist. Good job everyone, way to radicalize each other.
Instead of feeling guilty for being a racist, people feel emboldened by those so vehemently punishing themselves and yelling at others who are not atoning in public.
It’s absurd to think that people won’t react to the kind of rhetoric that has somehow become commonplace and acceptable over the last few years. I’m a thick skinned, rational person and my reaction to social justice warriors is to want to post Nazi pictures places they can see them. Of course, doing that makes seeing Nazis normal. It makes it not seem so crazy the next time someone posts a picture of Hitler without the revenge context. It opens the door by creating the reaction. That’s how humans work. They react to their environment.
Don’t create an environment that fosters such hatred against others or against yourself. It helps no one.

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