You may not have noticed this (I kid), but talking about privilege doesn’t always work out. If it did, we wouldn’t be hearing so much about that guy Tal Fortgang, who is so remote from having any privilege that major media are paying close attention to his lack of privilege. Mychal Denzel Smith explains in The Nation why it all goes wrong.
When people with privilege hear that they have privilege, what they hear is not, “Our society is structured so that your life is more valued than others.” They hear, “Everything, no matter what, will be handed to you. You have done nothing to achieve what you have.” That’s not strictly true, and hardly anyone who points out another’s privilege is making that accusation. There are privileged people who work very hard. The privilege they experience is the absence of barriers that exist for other people.
But they don’t grasp that, because they’re not aware of the barriers that exist for other people, because they’re not other people. That’s the “privilege” they have. It’s so fatally easy to translate lack of awareness of X to what you think is awareness that not-X. I know this; I catch myself doing it all the time. It’s one of the fast thinking mistakes we make. It needn’t be an accusation, it’s just reality.