In a piece published last week in the New York Times, “What the Rich Won’t Tell You,” Rachel Sherman shares her research of how wealthy, mostly liberal, people hide some of the clues that they’re among the richest people in the country — self-hating benefactors of a deeply unjust and racist economic system. I grew up in a wealthy family; I have lived through countless situations where downplaying my wealth was positioned both as the polite and the moral thing to do. But unlike the families mentioned in Sherman’s piece, my discomfort with my wealth wasn’t tamed by ‘hiding tags’ or ‘bragging about shopping at Target.’ I found my way to Resource Generation, a nonprofit founded by young, wealthy, progressive women in partnership with poor and working class leaders to figure out how wealthy people can be transparent about their class and access to wealth in order to better support movements for economic and racial justice.
Hiding or staying silent about our wealth and class empowers a deeply unjust and racist economic system. The truth is, the compulsion to hide your class or wealth isn’t about politeness at all; it’s your gut telling you that your lifestyle (being able to … Continue reading »