Privilege vs. simple living

Disclaimer: I wasn’t going to post this, but our director encouraged us that writing on the public transportation brought out some of our deepest meditations. You have been warned.

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Privilege vs. simple living

For those of you deterred by the title, stick with me. I think it is a really important topic and needs to be addressed.

Moving to Miami has not only helped me understand my privilege as a white male, but it has also made me deal with it. It’s quite easy to ignore when you drive your car to work everyday to a majority white office in a majority white town. The sphere of influence is small and is uncomfortable to expand.

But here, it’s the little things that set myself and my roommates apart. What I think of “simple living” still comes across as a display of privilege. I wrote this entry on the public transit in order to allow my thoughts to flow freely and openly.

The scene is this: my two roommates and I are all carrying a nalgene water bottle (name brand). We are the only people carrying water bottles which makes us look like tourists (I’m sure there is a whole separate blog post in that thought). We are the only white people on the bus, but interestingly enough, we do not look the most privileged by money. Though at least two of us are accruing college debt, there are people on the bus whose value of the items on them out weigh the value of the items on the three of us.

So privilege vs. simple living. My chacos that I consider simple still show my privilege. My timbuk2 bag that I consider “practical” and “city minded” shows privilege. And finally, the last is my Banana Republic button up shirt that I am ashamed to say I paid full price for.

To conclude, it’s a tough subject. The article that helped me with this blog post:

http://www.salon.com/2014/08/23/white_privilege_an_insidious_virus_thats_eating_america_from_within/

The article is tough and dense. But for those that are curious, it is above.

Deep in thought,
Russ

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