White privilege. Despite my pale, freckled, Irish and Swedish skin (trust me, it doesn’t get much paler than this), it’s not something I really think about on a regular basis.
At least until I go home to Massachusetts. My aunt, whose skin is just as pale and freckled as mine, is a professor at Tufts, teaching classes such as “African American History since 1865” and “Class, Race and Gender in the History of U.S. Education.” She dedicated her education and career to learning about the events that have created white privilege (she acknowledges, ironically, that she occupies a position of privilege as a professor at a majority-white university).
So every time I come home, I am reminded — reprimanded, almost — of the white privilege that my life has been steeped in. My family not only acknowledges our white privilege, but constantly points it out to each other so that we do not take our opportunities for granted.