Recently, my dad had a breakthrough. He said out loud, “I guess I’ve been passing on white privilege without even knowing it.” YES!
Exactly! That’s how it works, Dad!
Most of the time, the superior “haves” don’t even know they’re contributing to The System of oppression in our culture. I’m so proud of him for finally understanding.
My dad has been married to my mom for over 28 years, and the parenting style they used with all four of us kids was doomed to produce privilege.
One of their children is a happily-married, home-owning mother of two; one lives overseas and makes tons of money with his own business; one is going to college on several academic and athletic scholarships; and “the baby” (who’s still in high school) has never thrown a brick through a convenience store window…
Unfortunately, until last week, my parents didn’t even realize they contributed to the privilege of their kids with just about every lesson they taught…I suspect there are many other successful parents who are worried about accidentally passing on “privilege,” and helping their kids enter the world far ahead of their less-fortunate peers.
So, I’ve compiled this helpful list of ways you can learn from my parents’ mistakes and avoid raising privileged kids like me:
1. Put off marriage as long as possible. It’s VERY hard to fall in the cracks, if you partner with another person and commit to working through life together. Having married parents automatically puts kids way ahead of the pack; so avoid that. Feel free to live with your boyfriend/girlfriend and make lots of promises (as well as making more babies). Just don’t actually get married.
2. Build your family with as many last names as you can. Your oldest two kids have one father and the next baby has a different one? That’s a good start. But it would be even better if all of you moved in with Man #3 or #4–and you started referring to him as their daddy on Facebook. You don’t have to worry about having snotty, privileged kids, if they have absolutely no sense of family identity.
3. Do NOT teach kids that life has rules. Privileged parents always tell their kids that there are certain steps to take, in order to succeed. There are right and wrong ways to do things. But what they don’t know is all those principles (they call “common sense”) are actually part of an unfair system. That’s right! Successful people are successful ONLY because they conform to an oppressive System. All rules are created by The Man. Don’t teach your kids to follow them.
4. DO teach kids that “nobody can tell you what to do.” This goes with #3, because anybody who tries telling you what to do wants you to follow rules. Teach your kids that all “authority” is suspicious, because they enforce the System. This includes preachers and teachers–and especially police officers. (My parents always taught me that policemen helped people. Aaaaand, before I knew it… privilege.)
5. Do NOT model self-control and delayed gratification. The idea that delayed gratification “works” is a rule that comes from the System. Most privileged kids are taught patience. So make sure you don’t show your kids that good things come to those who wait. Instead, put new clothes and furniture on a credit card. Maybe rent-to-own a big screen TV. And make sure you buy lotto tickets regularly. The more you buy, the better your chances for an easy million dollars! “Saving” and “Waiting” are habits of the 1%.
6. Do NOT teach them that hard work pays off. This belief that effort makes a difference is the backbone of the Capitalist System. If your kids believe they have some power to decide their own future, they almost can’t help being successful…which means leaving the underprivileged kids behind. Make sure your kids believe they are trapped–and it doesn’t matter how hard they work because the whole System is rigged. And don’t teach them they can learn from others who have made it.
This probably isn’t a comprehensive list–but it’s the best I can do from an already-privileged perspective. To be quite honest, I don’t do any of this stuff with my own children. They’re already well on the way to being family-centered, System-loving, money-making individuals.
But perhaps it’s not too late to make sure your kids aren’t so privileged.
Please note the above steps can be followed by people of any background and any skin color. These techniques are at play in plenty of white ghettos across the nation, and their children are growing up helpless, hopeless, and trusting nobody except other poor, unsuccessful people like themselves.
It’s not easy being disadvantaged…but it sure beats privilege. (*spits*)