Class “Why do I find this subject the least interesting?”
I am currently doing a short online course on privilege. ‘Class’ I found the least interesting and the most challenging.
“Why am I not captivated by the videos and articles that expose it?”
and I hear the possible answers….
I have bought into the beliefs such as, “If you want to succeed you can!”
“That there is provision for those on benefits, we look after people.”
And yet I call myself a ‘Trade unionist’. Yes, I can see injustices, I can see how power is used against people yet somehow I struggle to admit it is ‘class’. I am not sure why that is? I will stand up for those who are being oppressed but usually in my field of vision. What about those not in my field of vision?
I could easily be reliant on benefits I was as a child and I had periods of unemployment as an adult. Is it that I feel I should be grateful? I am, I was. Am I hiding from who I really am? What is any of us really? We are creatures with life within us. Some of us are more suited to living fully than others of us. We somehow created a worldview (at least in my part of the world) that values the ‘the more suited’. We grouped them together and I guess called them a class. Today we call them Celebrities, High achievers, CEOs, Successful, the Political establishment, Bankers. This is what we should all be aiming for and if we succeed we will be rewarded. If you are below it is because you haven’t tried hard enough and somewhere people like me believe this, “They deserve what they have and I deserve what I have” “ And those below me deserve what they have.”
So we have created a pyramid of privilege based on rules that ‘someones’ agreed and if you have what it takes to get to the top that is where you will be.
“You can’t read?” “Tough in this game if you want a chance you have to read.”
“You are not good at the subjects on the National Curriculum?” “Tough in this game if you want a chance you have to be.”
“You are good with your hands?” “Ok we will find a place for you but you will serve those at the top unless you are so good that we will welcome you to the top table and call you, “A celebrity chef, A celebrity plumber, A celebrity hairstylist, A celebrity musician and so forth.”
“You have a disability?” If you are “so good” no one will care but you have to be so, so, good”
“You don’t speak very well and you are nervous in groups?” “ Change your accent do some courses, overcome and you will succeed.”
“Your parents can’t afford to fund the school trip or you don’t have the clothes?” “ Get a job pay it off in instalments.”
“You don’t have a car?” “Buy a bike.”
“You don’t have the confidence to go for those interviews, for those jobs” “Well get it because if you don’t you will be on benefits for the rest of your days and we don’t really want you to have enough because then you will never be motivated.”
“You only speak a little English?” “Go to night class.”
“You don’t have any money because your parents came here for a better life and can’t find work.” “ Bad choice should never have come unless they had the ability to succeed.”
Most of us have bought into these beliefs and while we spend our time trying to achieve and retain our place in the league table we haven’t time to think about another only possibly that they may take our place.”