Entitled...Or Privileged...Or Blessed?
Updated: Mar 8, 2022
Entitled…or Privileged…or Blessed?
I was called, “entitled” the other day!
I certainly have never been called that to my face and I hope not behind my back.
At the end of a conversation that circuitously explained how there are two types of hikers in New Hampshire, the Fuzzy Sweater Hikers and the Redneck Hikers, I asked if I would be considered a Redneck Hiker. I mean I do drive a sports car and have guns, which apparently helps define the Redneck Hiker. And I do not have a ton of old money (or even any), which one must have to be a Fuzzy Sweater Hiker. To my credit, I do not throw trash out of my car window and therefore was eliminated from having the complete Redneck Hiker criteria.
Since I did not fit either group, I was told, I was still a bit entitled. Huh??? If I was entitled, I would be sitting on my butt collecting government handouts allocated for their entitled future slaves, rather than pulling weeds, shoveling sheep poop, and tossing around a few hundred bales of hay here and there.
Entitled? To what? To life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Okay, well, yes. I do believe I am entitled to that.
I had to find out what it was about me that screamed “snowflake.” I mean, “entitled.” So I asked. The question was avoided, at first, but I finally got a semi-answer.
“Well, you did grow up with nice things.”
Huh? Some of the hand-me-downs from my mom’s friends’ kids were pretty nice, but what were we talking about here? What nice things? We were poor! I was blessed that grandma had a garden because there were times when we literally did not have 25 cents for a Krystal burger. (Anyone from Jackson, MS KNOWS what a Krystal burger is!)
I inquired further and was questioned about my schooling. Yep, I grew up in Mississippi and am literate so I must have had a private education. This is true.
My mom pulled me out of public school in 5th grade when she visited and watched the teacher spell “beautification” without the “u” while pronouncing it WITH the “u.” She certainly was not teaching 5th graders about how to take the first step toward canonization.
I tried public school again in 10th grade and remember a really sweet Black girl telling me to never go to the bathroom alone, since I was sure to get jumped…being White and all. That was okay, I never liked public restrooms anyway.
I remember my math class was in a trailer, with no air conditioning in 90-100 degree weather and I was expected to let the Black guy next to me cheat off of me.
In science class, I kept getting Fs on my homework and tests even though my answers were right. I was an A-B student…not an F student!! After several days of this, I decided to test a theory. I asked a super sweet Black girl if she would help me out with my theory and she did. I knew she was smart and I asked to copy her homework one day. She agreed and we turned in our answers to the homework questions. For the same exact answers, she got an “A” and I got an “F.” The teacher was Black. Was she racist or did she just want to cause division…or is that the same thing? The girl whose homework I copied was appalled. Not everyone is a racist turd! (Remember, it’s the content of the character that counts…not the skin color.)
The conversation about my “entitled” schooling was interrupted.
I went back to my indignant weed pulling. I had a lot of internal conversations about how entitled people don’t destroy their back and their skin in the hot sun pulling weeds before I realized the word might have been wrong. Did she mean “privileged” instead of “entitled?”
She had to have! But was that any better? Maybe a little.
Was she insinuating I was literate because I am White? Did she mean this “White Privilege” thing I keep hearing about from a lot of guilt-ridden, rich White people, who are told they are racist because of their skin color?
My internal dialogue took a new turn to look back to the past. Was I privileged in some way? No, I was blessed, but to call me “privileged” because of my skin color negates my story.
“White Privilege” assumes that I grew up in a loving, two-parent home and was wanted and welcomed into this world. It negates my story of having a dad who abandoned my mother and me two weeks before I was born because she wouldn’t have a seventh abortion.
“White Privilege” assumes my mom had plenty of money just flowing out of her butt to pay for anything and everything she and I might need. It takes away from the glory that God should be getting for always taking care of my mom and me financially by telling strangers to give her $50 or $100 here and there for no reason other than, “God told me to.”
It silences my mom’s struggle to get off of welfare by working off the books so she could make a better life for us and transition off the government teat.
It negates the story of how people in her Bible Study stepped up to make sure a single mom was able to care for her baby she chose to keep. It takes away the honor and respect my mom deserves for not aborting me or putting me up for adoption when she was being pressured to do both.
The “White Privilege” stereotype squelches my ability to connect with someone of another race who might be considering suicide since I couldn’t possibly have ever held a gun to my White temple with my White finger on the trigger because I couldn’t imagine ever getting away from my White step-father.
“White Privilege” says life was easy and silences my story. It wasn’t easy, but it has been full and exciting and wonderful and horrible and fascinating!!
“White Privilege” implies someone should know everything about me just by looking at me.
“White Privilege” implies racism..
The true story is that I am blessed!