On Equality and Privilege

Black people and Black communities are under attack both directly and indirectly on a daily basis. The very structure of our society hampers the ability of our Black communities to thrive, inflicting financial wounds, undermining voting rights, providing sub-par healthcare, education and food access, and committing outright murder as evidenced, yet again, by what happened to George Floyd.

The arc of the moral universe may be long, but it’s taking way too much time to bend toward justice. We, as individuals, as a community, as a nation, need to grab this moment in time. We need to grab this arc and not just bend it, but pull on it with all our might to create justice and equality. 

For me, checking privilege means remembering that I didn’t need an amendment to vote. It was a certain unalienable right. Because that’s the default setting for those in power in America. Freedom, money, voting — these things didn’t require constitutional amendments for me to receive. To understand lack of privilege, one has to change the mindset from entitlement to empathy. One has to remember that the Constitution contains amendments for Black people and for women and for people with disabilities because these rights are not inherent if you are Black, female, have a disability, or are LGBTQ.

Change is messy and it hurts. Sometimes it means you have to get angry, stand up for what is just, and kneel for what is not. 

Thaddeus Dickson, Lakebay