Questions of Privilege
Dear Editor: I’m fairly new to Gulfport (howdy, neighbors!) and received the May 13 issue of the Gabber. I was very interested in the article entitled “Greens for Those in Need” because I thought it was great encouragement for anyone to start a home garden with a small amount of space, even as small as a shipping container. But ultimately the article left a bad taste in my mouth with the mention of white privilege as Mr. Hart’s reason for pursuing this nonprofit microfarm. For me, this additional piece of information was divisive and completely unnecessary.
I’m not sure what white privilege had to do with anything. Indeed, it’s slightly disturbing that any positive thing that someone does is only because of their “privilege.” The necessary corollary is that no one else can do anything if they don’t have this alleged privilege. I think it’s a great idea and an attainable effort for anyone to maintain a small garden. But the mention of white privilege implies that non-white people couldn’t do the same thing, whether for the community or within their own homes. It was also strange coming on the heels of hearing about Mr. Hart’s own struggle with ulcerative colitis and being starvation-level weight at one point in his life. That is a sympathetic condition for anyone, yet I’m to believe that there’s still some privilege over someone in another group simply because he’s white. That’s a stretch, if not downright insulting.
There was no need for an article that presents a good idea to invoke division and limitation over a purported privilege that the very article shows me doesn’t exist. Time and chance happen to us all. Most important, everyone has something to bring to the table and we’ll get much further if we allow and expect that instead of bringing up something we had absolutely no control in deciding. Pigmentation does not determine purpose or privilege. At the end of the day, for everyone, life is what you make of it. – C. McGruder