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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

What is a privilege and how do you get one?

In the recent debate "black lives matter", black people are often referred to as an underprivileged group of people. Does this imply that I'm more privileged than them, since I'm not black?

At first glance, I'm sure you'd say yes, but I say no. Privilege has to do with the conditions we are brought up with, and live under, both physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual. But what the real word means, is an extra bonus that we can be allowed to use, that we simply has paid for.

There's a difference between rights and privileges I was told, when I was detained in immigration proceedings in the United States 2011-12, by some of the prison staff. Have I not a right to claim what I have paid for? Does the visa-sponsor have the right to demand more money? In my case, before issuing a Professional certificate for the classes I had paid for, attended and passed with A-grades, since I couldn't continue for a full Master's degree due to weird delays of transferring credits from my Swedish university. It took until 2013 to receive my certificate diploma by mail.

To me, being given a privilege is based on the impression I make, my honesty and humility, combined with my credentials and cases.

I have sometimes felt discriminated against, for example because of my age and gender, and by people assuming that I live a privileged life, as if my needs would cease because of my looks, education, work experience, sober wellness or noble heritage. Why is that? Because many forget the importance of treating others as humans, rather than by prejudice.

Which prejudice is there about white people? 

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