I've already written a bit about privilege, but I'd like to take a moment to introduce myself before I continue with further thoughts on the topic.
My name is Gio Andollo. I am a writer, musician and activist based in New York City. I earn my living as a dishwasher at a local coffeeshop/bakery and I take my job very seriously - because everyone wants a revolution but nobody wants to wash the dishes.
Speaking of revolution, I became heavily involved with the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations on September 17, 2011 and I've been in solidarity with Occupy ever since. I was already well aware of the idea of privilege (and that I had a whole lot it) well before OWS began, but the Occupy movement was to provide a bit of a crash course on privilege.
For me at least.
I plan to write much more on my OWS experience in the coming entries, but for now I'll just reveal my vast array of privilege and my intentions for this blog and twitter account.
I have or am:
- (cis) Male
- US citizenship
- Middle-class upbringing
- Fairly typical suburban nuclear family (like the ones on TV)
- Descended of Cuban immigrants (see: "wet foot, dry foot"); my parents came to the US legally with their respective families after the Cuban revolution; they received college education in the US and speak English fluently; they are both US citizens and have had relative job security my entire life
- Education (BA in Music)
- Able body & mind
- Thin/muscular build, average body size (and fast metabolism to boot!)
As you can see, I am blessed with every privilege that could be afforded a person in twenty first century America. But rather than just reap the rewards, I want to use my privilege to help others.
And I believe that I can only accomplish this in proportion to my understanding of privilege - what it is and why I have it; how it affects me and the people around me, the people like me and the people not like me; how privilege is used to perpetuate evil, violence, and injustice; and how privilege might be leveraged instead for good, for peace, for reconciliation.
In this blog, I intend to explore these ideas and invite others - people with and without the privileges listed above - to join in the conversation, to guide me along, to work with me on washing the dirty dishes of our society.
Posts will always be open for comments and folks are welcome to e-mail me as well with questions, comments, or suggestions. Thanks in advance for your participation :)