Being aware of privilege only helps if you do something

Talking about how privileged you are and how much you acknowledge your privilege doesn’t do much, on its own.

It has to actually change what you do.

It can actually make things worse, if all you do is mention it.

Because then the implication is “yeah, I know I’m privileged and have all kinds of unwarranted power over others, but I don’t really care and it’s not going to change what I do. Please to be praising me for noticing this. I’m pretty great.”

And people you have power over can come under a lot of pressure to give you the praise you want, and to help you feel ok about the discrimination you participate in. Don’t do this to people.

When you have privilege, you have obligations that go along with it. You have unwarranted power that you can’t renounce, and the obligation to learn what to do with it. If you’re not willing to think about your power and examine what you do with it, you’re not going to be able to avoid abusing it.

There are any number of other implications too. And there are things it’s not ok to participate in even if it would benefit you, and even if it’s hard-to-impossible to get those things otherwise.

Don’t expect noticing and naming your privilege categories to be enough.