Privilege and the unconscious mind
We take for granted that which we are accustomed to – in other words, our privilege.
If we’re used to walking and moving about the world pain-free, we think that’s normal.
If we’re used to being able to walk home alone in the dark without a drop of fear that we might be assaulted, we assume everyone does that.
If we have two living parents who love us, we don’t consider what the consequences of what it would be like for someone who doesn’t.
Prior to brain training, our unconscious biases run rampant. We unconsciously and automatically assume everyone has the same experience we do.
I know this because I lived it.
And I’ve witnessed it transform in the hundreds of people I’ve served as they finally start to comprehend that every person’s reality is unique.
The reason society has groups of people is that in those contexts people can bond over a shared reality.
For example, most women aged 12-45 can bond over the shared reality of bleed time every month.
Practicing muslims have a shared reality of praying to Allah five times a day.
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) have a shared understanding that within our current mainstream society they are often discriminated against purely due to their pigmentation.
Opportunities are fewer for BIPOC. When resumes are identical, recruiters favor people with anglocised names.
It’s sad, but true – countless research studies reveal this.
I suspect this why is many white people have experienced such a shock this past month as the Black Lives Matter movement has reignited in full force in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder.
They were entirely blind to their privilege. And it was confronting for them to be faced with it so undeniably and unequivocally.
One thing we can all relate to is that we came into this world through a mother. To hear 46 year old George Floyd plead for his Mama during his last breaths was heartaching. I couldn’t help but cry at the injustice of it all.
I plead that we take this incident as a wake up call to be united by our shared humanity.
I pray that we all wake up to our privilege in its various forms and commit to being inventors of a brighter world for all.
And I commit to being even more vigilant about speaking up about inequality.