Last night, somebody shocked me by telling me I was talking “nonsense” when I insisted out current health care “system” is broken, and that we have to move to single-payer.
“We need to preserve our system,” she said, and proceeded to try and shame me into supporting Joe Biden or another “moderate” who’s beholden to the profit-mongers currently in charge.
I was appalled that anyone knowing how I lost my son to this mess would say that to me.
I told her she was talking privilege.
She has the privilege of being covered by an insurance plan she can afford, co-pays, deductibles and all.
She has the privilege of not needing immediate help that’s just unavailable because she can’t afford it.
She has the privilege of not having watched someone she loves more than life itself draw his last breath because nobody would help him.
She has the privilege of being able to wait for politicians get off their asses and do something about the 35 million Americans who have no insurance, and the millions more who have insurance with a deductible so high they can’t afford to use it.
She claimed she has no such thing as privilege, that she just wants people to be able to get health care.
But she can’t see that tens of millions of Americans are going without while she calls me stupid for wanting them to get immediate access.
She probably thinks we can wait a few years for the minimum wage to hit $15, too. But if you’re making $7.25 an hour, you can’t wait for that raise. You need that money now. If you think otherwise, your privilege is showing.
If you hold the people at our borders in contempt because they walked a thousand miles with their children to escape drug gangs — gangs that are the direct result of US drug policy — your privilege is showing.
If you think our policy of incarcerating people — non-citizens or citizens — in private, for-profit prisons, not feeding them enough (I know about conditions in private prisons because my brother is in one) and then “contracting” their labor out to the highest bidder, your privilege is showing.
If you think the people in Flint and other cities with lethal contaminants in their water can wait for it to be fixed, your privilege is showing.
If you think it’s OK to keep somebody in jail for months as they await trial for a nonviolent misdemeanor like falling asleep on a park bench, causing them to lose their jobs, housing and even their kids, just because they can’t come up with $250 cash bond, your privilege is showing.
If these things and other atrocities perpetrated by the fascists in Washington are OK, it’s because you have a warm bed, clean water, access to health care, reliable transportation, enough food — in other words, privilege.
If you think poor people are just lazy and only want a handout, your privilege is showing big time.
And if you’re white and male and you don’t see any problem with the way things are, you’re particularly privileged.
When you have such privilege and you deny it, I find that deeply offensive. When you call me stupid because you can’t see your privilege — even when it’s pointed out to you, you are even more despicable to me.
When you have such great privilege and you deny it, you are willfully ignorant, and there are few greater sins in my book.
I know it’s hard to recognize our own privilege, but we must if we are to move toward a just society for everyone, not just for you.