Some time ago I received this “privilege” test and upon reviewing it, I was enlightened and yet was provoked by it as well.
What is privilege? Privilege is a benefit, advantage, or right enjoyed by others; special enjoyment of a good, or exemption from an evil or burden; a prerogative; advantage; franchise.
Review the test and determine your score. Have you thought of others to score? Try it.
This “privilege” test can be used positively and negatively. Positively, it can bring an awareness to the state of where certain people are compared to others. And further, to help those at a disadvantage.
Negatively, the “privileged” person can take pride in their status, and further oppress those less than he or she. On the other hand, those less privileged could abuse their status by making the people who are more privileged feel as if it’s their fault for their state, as if they could just abandon their race, where they were born, their sexuality, their faith, and their appearance. One chooses to abuse their power and the other creates unrealistic and unreasonable expectations.
I believe that during Jesus’ ministry, he primarily sought to reach out to those who were at a disadvantage, such as the lepers, the tax collectors, the widows. Like Moses, he liberated people from oppressive forces. Yes, there were the spiritual aspect, but we cannot neglect the socio-economic dimension as well. It seems that oppression came from a conservative interpretation and implementation of Hebrew law applied to their social context. There was no room for empathy and mercy.
Though he regularly rebuked the religio-political leaders, he didn’t make generalizations by placing them all in one category to demonize. I think what we can learn from Jesus is that we can and should point out the oppressive factors in a broken system. Yet, remember that that’s not all Jesus did.
It can be too easy to point fingers to a people, whether the top or bottom, and say “it’s your fault”. At the attempt of pointing out errors in the system, many neglect the people they’re trying to help. More than rebuking those at the top, Jesus liberated people from oppressive forces, and we must too.
We must take the Jesus road and do what we can to help people and restore a broken system, a broken world. I hope this test can bring an awareness, not only to point out the wrongs in a system, but to find ways to liberate people from oppressive forces and include them in the rest of the community.
What is your impression of this test? How true do you think this test is? Could this be helpful for the church? If so, in what ways?