Against False Privilege

Source: Quillette
by Niamh Jimenez

“Prejudice is universal. Growing up a black kid in Ireland, I thought that Jehovah’s Witnesses were odd because they do not celebrate birthdays or Christmases. I looked sideways at caravan-dwelling Irish Travellers (to whom my school friends and I often referred using terms that certainly would not satisfy contemporary high standards of ‘verbal hygiene’). I had no idea why some Muslim women covered their bodies from head to toe, and if you had asked me to name a particular style of Islamic head covering, I would have floundered, resorting to the Western world’s catchall term of ‘headscarf’ or ‘hijab.’ Contrary to popular belief, the fact that I am a black woman living in a white country does not somehow inoculate me against human prejudice. And yet, I’m given to understand that I must know what prejudice feels like more than anyone.” (07/30/22)