There's a world in which privilege is the rule, and some suffer while others are ruled by the king. It's a world of extreme distinction, a dimension of horrendous inequity. If you're tempted to gaze into the terrifying face of injustice, look no further than the perverse prince-and-pauper premise that is the Home Depot.
This is in reference to the store’s staff. It's likely you've observed it. While looking for that ideal drill bit or piece of PVC pipe in the hot pirate yard, you couldn't help but notice the plethora of social ladders represented by viceroys and even the victims wearing orange aprons.
Thankfully, that home-improvement chain recently tried to shake up society's deck.
The Twitter page of the Libs of Tik Tok posted a Home Depot employee worksheet called “Unpacking Privilege.” In it, the “P” word is defined this way: “A special benefit or advantage that may be earned or unearned.”
“A person may or may not be aware that they are benefitting from privilege,” the handout further explains.
Anyone who leads DIYers to a two-pound bat guano bag or an econo-sized bottle of urine from coyotes should be aware of two kinds of social privilege–unearned advantages or entitlements used for the benefit of oneself or against other people. The advantages of these groups are due to their social classes, ages, handicaps as well as ethnic or racial categories, gender identities, sexual orientations or religious beliefs.
White privilege is a social privilege that favors white people over the typical experiences of those of color in the same political, social, and economic environments.
Some examples of the appearance of such privilege include: If as a kid, college was one of your goals, and you were a class member, then you were entitled to that privilege. Or, if you are able to take some time off from work to observe your religious holidays, your rights as a Christian entitle you to do so. If you are able to use public restrooms without causing worry or anxiety, then you are a cisgender person. If you don't need to struggle to get into a store, you are entitled with the able-bodied privilege. If you don't need to justify the fact that your spouse is the same gender, then you are entitled with heterosexuality.
Not to be forgotten: If you're certain that the police are there in order to safeguard you, then you are entitled with white privilege.
The checklist permits employees to effectively manage their jobs. “If you don't have to think about it,” the document states, “it's a privilege.” So, check off your privilege: White, Male, Class, Christian, Cisgender, Able-Bodied and/or Heterosexual.
We live in a fascinating period. It’s safe to say this is the first time period when institutional organizations have sought to prove that every person is a loser either as an oppressor unworthy of the success they seek or as the victim of it.
In terms of pain, Home Depot defines racism as “Racial Prejudice + Power.”
And if you're a white person, and you're not comfortable: “Why it's difficult to talk about White Privilege.” The term white creates discomfort, especially for those who aren't accustomed to being identified by their race.
“When you feel unformattable [sic] talking about White Privilege,” you can engage in self-interrogation. What does this lens mean for my understanding of the dynamics of race? What can my discomfort do to uncover the assumptions I've made? Is it possible that since I'm white, I am subject to some race-related dynamics that I cannot be aware of? Do I want to look into the possibility? If I'm unwilling to make the change–why wouldn't I?
What is the reason a company feels obliged to convince low-wage employees selling dog scents and fertilizer for lawns that their situation is obnoxiously deplorable?
The Home Depot provided insight to the New York Post. A spokesperson for the Home Depot's US headquarters confirmed to the Post that the white-privilege notice originated from its Canadian division. The spokesperson also said that the flyer wasn't accepted in the company’s diversity and inclusiveness department. But the flyer was printed with the Home Depot logo at the top.
As the company has an in-house department for diversity and inclusion, could similar information be distributed across this country? That is yet to be determined.
We’ll be glad to be proven wrong. We may have made the irrational assumption that the entitled aristocrats are employed by the Home Depot!