Getting Real with Trisha: Owning Privilege

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

On Jesus, privilege and a Porsche.

By Trisha Baptie | Twitter: @trisha_baptie

Michael Kimmel captures i this short video what I have been thinking about/stewing in/pondering and trying to own as much as possible in my own life.

“Privilege is invisible to those that have it.”–Michael Kimmel

I try to own my privilege. I am white.

Some days I feel that is all I have. I am a single mom with no more that $100 in my savings at any given time. I will never own a house, have no RRSP’s, no GIC’s, no credit cards (Get caught frauding VISA and you’re blacklisted for life … geesh 😉 I have never taken my kiddos for a family vacation, I don’t go to the dentist for regular cleanings. (After you buy two kids their glasses, teeth don’t seem as important.) I could go on. To be clear, it’s not even that I particularly want these things, as I see how they can tie people down as much as they can be beneficial … although clean teeth may be good 🙂

What do I have?

Kids. Lots of work, lots of moments that remind me what being alive is all about.

Friends. I think everyone should be as blessed as I am. I have deep, longstanding, love-filled friendships, that challenge me, uplift me and breathe life into me.

Health (relatively). I’ve lived a hard life and it was hard on my body. Poverty is hard on the body … the teeth, the mind, the heart, but still, I’m doing pretty good. Plus, I live in a country where health care is a right, not a privilege, so you can’t go too wrong with that.

Food in my fridge, my rent paid, a few added bonuses from those who love me (like a new computer). 🙂

So ya, I am blessed. Deeply and profoundly blessed. Yet, my kids and I do have needs that lack solutions for and wants that will always remain a dream.

Poverty also makes articles like this seem really true. In fact, I see this lived out constantly.

Reality Check

I had a friend I love deeply–deeeeeeply–say to me the other day as we were talking about life: “You know you can be a little negative.” It was a criticism, or something to that effect, spoken in love with a titch of “Why aren’t you more grateful?” as a side dish.

I told her some days it’s hard. I walk out my front door and I am confronted with need, want and all the ugly side effects of poverty every moment of every day.

I know when she walks out of her front door to her Porsche she isn’t having the same perspective.

To which she said, “I guess we do live in different socio economic situations.”

We do.

Privilege is invisible to those that have it.

It’s challenging to identify our privilege, identify those who have less than us and do everything we can to use our privilege to empower them. It’s important that we educate within our circle what issues there are, and always step aside to let others teach from their perspective, their truth and their reality.

What’s your privilege?

Jesus, the most privileged as Son of God and being able to call on Abba whenever he wanted, died for us. Jesus died, also to his privilege. It reminds me to die in some way today … And I wonder: do you?

About Trisha
Trisha Baptie is Executive Director of Honour Consulting and founding member of EVE (formerly Exploited Voices now Educating). In 2008 she won BC’s Courage to Come Back Award for her bravery in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle, for giving the murdered women of Vancouver a voice through her trial coverage of Vancouver’s serial killer and for her ongoing activism. Follow Trisha’s tweets at @trisha_baptie or friend her on facebook. She recently founded EVE (formerly Exploited Voices Now Educating.)

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called shelovesmagazine.com–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at idelette.com and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

Latest posts by Idelette McVicker (see all)

Idelette McVicker
  • Ashley Mandanici

    Got me thinking this morning Trisha-love that video, “When i wake up in the morning i see a…” – what a true statement. As globally, culturally aware as i try to be, privilege is blinding.

    Thanks so much for this!

  • This is so good, and so important. We cause a lot of pain when we assume to know others’ experience.

    There is a kind of privilege I’m thinking about, not related to gender, race, or economic status. It’s mental health. Those with a healthy mind have no idea how privileged they are.

    I suppose my take-away from this post is learning to see privilege in myself, and using it as a means to compassion and relating instead of allowing myself to use it to build walls.

    Thanks for your openness, Trisha.

  • well said!

  • That quote you referenced will stay with me. Thank you for another great piece, Trisha!

  • Pingback: SheLoves Magazine » 2011: A SheLoves Odyssey()