power, privilege, and everyday life.

Have a question/comment/similar experience to share? Email us or fill out our contribution form.

Note: The comments section provides a space for people to LEARN from one another.




Find us on...

Tag Results

226 posts tagged class

You don’t want to buy a house, it’s too much trouble.

White neighbor who owns over 50 properties in our community, to me, a black woman. I was expressing my concern that our activist work would increase the value of homes in our community where I rent before I could afford to buy one.  We were standing in her doorway, one of the largest homes in our community. Made me feel the same way I felt when she told me how articulate I am.

My white male boss refers to the female office workers has “the girls,” ensures me all of our clients are middle/upper middle class, so I won’t have to deal with scary situations, and dismisses my concerns with condescending comments that I am being overemotional. Made me feel frustrated that I can’t call him out, because I worry about keeping my job.

My freshman year of college I made a single friend on my floor and for a while she was my only friend. The next year, my floormates were my closest friends and I would go out with them if I ever had extra money (which was very rare).
One day, out of nowhere, I got a text from her calling me “fucking bitch”, saying that I was racist because she was white and I only liked Asians, and I would turn her down every time she wanted to go to our favorite restaurant.

I was getting by on loans and scholarships and what little my widowed mother could send me while she had two working parents and was upper middle class. She wanted me to go out to eat with her every single week.

I’m Latina (non-white passing), She’s white. My friends and floormates were Chinese, White, Black and mixed. I felt humiliated, sad, angry, like our friendship only counted if I could afford it.

My parents worked for all their money. My family planned ahead for me to attend post secondary.

I hear these kind of defensive statements all the time from upper middle class students whenever I sound even slightly exasperated explaining to them that no, my mother does not have any money to pay for my education and I have to cover it entirely with loans and scholarships whereas they have told me that their parents are giving them all the money they need.

Makes me feel angry, because my mother is the hardest working person I know. She had to work so hard just to survive on welfare as a single mother, and even harder to eventually find any emploment at all. She still lives below the poverty line. When people insinuate that my family somehow didn’t try hard enough to provide for me I wish I there was some way I could force them to understand that for some people no matter how hard we work, there will never be anything left over to save.

I was walking through a large city late at night with a group of people, one of whom was a white girl I had just met. Every time we walked past a Black person, she had a disparaging comment to make. The Black women were all hookers, the Black men were all drug users, the sleeping homeless people were disgusting, etc. I was the only Black person in the group and felt like she was also judging me.

Occasionally, when people at my engineering job find out I have kids, they tell me “Wow, you look so young!” As if teen pregnancy doesn’t happen to middle-class people. As if teen mothers do not get college educations and careers. I’m ashamed that my usual response is “Thanks?

You’re so articulate!

My mom doesn’t let me wear hoop earrings because they make me look Mexican.


A teacher said that people should try to neutralize their accents so that they would be taken seriously when talking in public. My boyfriend actually agreed. It is not ok to try to erase part of someone’s identity because they feel is inconvienient for them to fully understand their comments. It is not ok to try to erase cultural diversity.

I’m talking with a coworker about plans to spend time in a mostly-Black neighborhood after dark. With a sideways glance, and a knowing laugh, she asks, "Do you have any Black friends you can take with you?"

I am a light-skinned biracial Black person, often mis-identified as whiteMade me feel like my coworker writes me of as a “real” Black person. Made me feel like she thinks I don’t belong in Black communities.

I’m a part-time personal assistant in NYC and the guy I work for was telling the head of the company about his return to Rockaway this weekend to help out with hurricane recovery. “They finally have power back but some of the buildings are just all mud, so we helped a building super clean out the mud.” Head of the company: “Did any of the residents help you? Or were they all old or - [lowers her voice] - did they not give a shit?”

While working as a tutor at a charter high school that is predominantly African American, a young boy asks me (a Black female) if I could give him information about becoming a doctor. He knows I am slated to go to medical school early the next year and has always wanted to become a surgeon. I’m delighted and give him lots of information. The next day I am told to go to the office.

The director of the tutoring program (a White female) was angry that I would tell a young student of a charter school to go into an “academic,” field of study. When I asked why, she says, “We don’t want to give them false hope. Many of them are lucky to get into a technical field, like HVAC or refrigeration. Why should we give them a false sense of security that they can survive the rigors of college?” I was floored, stunned and angry.

I work as a teacher on a Native reserve. Students are behind because of social reasons — lack of motivation, their parents are into drugs, drinking, are fighting, etc. I see this as a consequence of a history of white oppressors forcing the Natives onto reserves, and enacting cultural genocide. Most of the teachers are white, and one of my coworkers (white) is racist, but seems to be oblivious to that fact. This is very dangerous. He makes comments like “the school would be a lot better if the principal weren’t Native”, and “These kids are so stupid, it must be their genes”. And, without fail, every time I (Chinese) interact with him he subtly makes “chinky” eyes by pulling on the side of his eye.

I’m supposed to write my statement of diversity– but I’m not a minority, I wasn’t poor growing up, I’ve never been raped…

My friend when writing her medical school application essays- she didn’t know that I was raped the year before when studying abroad.

Loading posts...