On Privilege

I cannot remember exactly where or when or who even explained this to me (or if I read it or whatever) but this is how I came to understand the pleasures of straight-white-male privilege in the United States of America:

No matter how poor and powerless you were, you were still more powerful than the most powerful nonwhite person in the country.

No matter how lonely and loveless and a screw-up with women you were, you were still innately more important, more in control of all the storylines, than any woman in the country.

Sexual desires for members of your own gender was a disease or a perversion. It was something sickos chose to do. Even though nobody could identify when they “decided” to be heterosexual.

Everyone, I mean everyone, aspires to be a straight-white-male.

Fortunately, I had a strange family, touched by tragic death and mental illness. And even on the grade-school playground I knew I could never be straight-and-narrow conventional enough to fit into the Big Narrative.

A kid threw a rock at me in the fourth grade. Hit me in the head and I needed stitches. I didn’t even know who he was. He was forced to mumble some apology a couple days later and that’s the last I ever had to do with him. But that taught me more about the nature of our little charade on this planet than the Big Narrative ever did: he could have killed me.

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