Here is a question every privilege-checking progressive “ally” of less privileged people should ask themselves:
Do you really believe you get more power and privilege from your racial, sexual or gender identities — or any intersectional combination of them — than you get from your class identity?
Class identity, of course, includes educational pedigree, social connections and behavioral class signifiers (manners, vocabulary, cultural know-how, and so on).
Another way to approach this question is to ask yourself: Would you be as willing and eager to check your class privilege as you have been to renounce your race privilege?
Ask yourself: do you really think these class signifiers your own class accepts as matter-of-fact qualifications — for knowing truer truths, judging more justly and basically calling the shots on all important matters — are somehow objectively valid — and not just the standard features of every dominant ideology?
Do you really, fully understand that a great many European colonists really wanted to bring Christian salvation to the savages of the Americas? Do you understand that conservatives truly do want to save the lives of fetuses? …In precisely the same way, progressives really do want to protect vulnerable populations?
The notion held by progressives that somehow their own sincere motives differ from those of others — that their sincere altruism differs from the delusional altruism of these others — is the furthest thing from a differentiator. This is the essential commonality of every ideologue.
If you think having the immense unilateral power required to offer these protections to vulnerable groups is just a means to an end — that is only how it looks from the inside. From outside it looks like the protection is justificatory means to the end of possessing overwhelming power.
I don’t want to hear your answers. This is between you and your own conscience. I’m sure you can make arguments proving whatever you want. I just want you to ask yourself these questions, listen to your own answers and really notice if you believe yourself.
Decency demands it.