When people with privilege hear that they have privilege, what they hear is not, ‘Our society is structured so that your life is more valued than others.’ They hear, ‘Everything, no matter what, will be handed to you. You have done nothing to achieve what you have.’ That’s not strictly true, and hardly anyone who points out another’s privilege is making that accusation. There are privileged people who work very hard. The privilege they experience is the absence of barriers that exist for other people.
…If a discussion about privilege serves any purpose, it is so that the privileged recognize their own and are then compelled to work to dismantle the structures that have bestowed privilege upon them. In order to do so, one would have to recognize the call to ‘check your privilege’ as less of a personal attack, because it is not. It’s a wake-up call to action.