September 21, 2009 § Leave a comment
i remember the whole debate of right vs privilege in activist circles and w conservative christians. that particular conversation came up in the topic of prop 8. but i want to talk about public education — more like higher education bc the “public” part was whats contested here. should higher education be public? — at this particular moment.
as im reading about pauls letters to the galatians on gnosticism and their relevance to jewish identity for my diaspora studies class at 6am, drinking my coffee, actually really enjoying doing this assignment despite it being super late/early, i fully understand my privilege, this privilege. the accessibility and the ability to be a full time student, to take this amazing class, to politicize myself, to live out the complexities of the world, to blog about such experience in the midst of my epiphany. what a privilege!
wait does this mean some ppl deserve it and some dont? those who worked hard enough to get to this point in higher education, took sats scored 4.9 gpa did debate team president volunteered at childrens library every week single handedly saved the world shining brightly on their transcripts, have earned that privilege. and those who didnt, bc they slacked off didnt care about their future whatever idk these stories never really get told, of course dont deserve to have what i have. such is the definition of privilege america speaks of. meritocracy. american dream. horatio alger rags to riches. if you work hard you can pull yourself up by the bootstraps. performance gospel. good grades good jobs good life in white picket fenced two stories house with kids and a dog in suburbia. fuck you anti affirmative action
privilege is like grace. of course no one deserves it. but we are given. not based on what we do, but who we are. as first made in the image of God fallen yet still beloved to death and promised into glory as co-heirs w Christ. and by His love what once was freely given then becomes a right. right not for slaves, no. for sons and daughters.
translated to my present — and it MUST be translated bc one, i believe in isaiah 61:1-2 and two, for those verses to happen i gotta know who the poor the brokenhearted the captives and the prisoners are — grace, which was once privilege now right (before you stone me for heresy, let me clarify that this right aint about entitlement based on my works to earn salvation but about accepting the freely given undeserving grace that changes me from being a slave to a daughter), looks like affordable and democratic higher education. bc that privilege should be now a right.
what do we have that we did not receive? im not naive. i know about separation of church and state. i wont cant shouldnt expect the world to abandon its law of you reap what you sow and to operate under Gods law of grace. thats heaven on earth i want to see, and though thats where we are headed, sin is real consequences are real, flesh is real. im not talking about giving out exam answers so we can all play not study or communist salary for both workers of three hrs and of ten hrs (though the parable of vineyard workers in matthew may say something different…) i want to talk about leveling the playing field so that everyone EVERYONE has at least a chance for a shot at privilege. and the playing field is not even at all.
uc budget cuts thanks to decades of irresponsible financial stewardship (so much more to say here but thats for another day), krn am straight female running hard after Jesus by choosing to place myself in the middle of queers ppl of color third world liberation front allies low income ab540 students community organizers and even tree hugging white anarchists all into zen buddhist yoga and shit, post-racial (really???) post 9/11 president barack hussein obama fighting for health care reform when ppl call him socialist muslim unamerican whateves. these, and more, are my present into which privilege/right becomes translated. students, defined as those who want to learn even if they have yet to realize that they want to learn bc they are on the lower end of the playing field, have a right to the privilege of higher education. money does not decide for them whether they are going to college or not. skin color does not decide for them. legality of immigration status does not decide. physical mental disability does not. gender or sexuality sure doesnt. human beingness does.
if you are made in the image of God, then you deserve you have a right to pursue privileges of reading about pauls letters to the galatians on gnosticism and their relevance to jewish identity for your diaspora studies class at 6am, drinking your coffee, actually really enjoying doing your assignment despite it being super late/early. and no power on earth can stop you.
so all the haters out there who still lie to me about how the playing field has been leveled, watch out. the fights so on. im a good fighter. im here to win. starting w this thursdays walkout.
ok back to actually doing my reading and paper. due in 4 hrs!!!