LINEAGE OF PRIVILEGE by Amanda Metzger

I am a privileged white American.

I am privileged because my paternal ancestors risked their lives to immigrate to America from Germany in the 1850s.

I am privileged because they settled in Kentucky where they were impoverished farmers attempting to start new lives in a land with a foreign language.

I am privileged because my great-great-great grandfather and his brother volunteered to join the Union Army because they felt so strongly that all men should be free.

I am privileged because they both died for the cause — one in a field hospital in Athens, Alabama and the other in action in Stone River, Tennessee. 

I am privileged because this left my great great-great grandmother a single mother.

I am privileged because my great-great grandfather was left fatherless.

I am privileged because they went on to live in rural poverty.

I am privileged because my grandfather was a migrant worker during the depression, living out of a jalopy.

I am privileged because I grew up in poverty in a rural community.

I am privileged because this led me to loneliness.

My loneliness was a privilege because it ignited my imagination.

I turned to literature, history, art and music to show me a better way of life.

This inspired me to dream.

I am privileged because academic opportunities for minorities were not available to me as a white woman in the 21st Century.

I am privileged because my point of view has been delegitimized due to the color of my skin.

I am privileged because people ignore my story and judge me using their preconceived notions and tired tropes.

I am privileged because I choose to form my opinions using facts — not hashtags and mobs.

Above all, I am privileged because through my lack of privilege, I learned how to think.

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