9 Mistakes Activists With Class Privilege Make

Adapted from Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use It for Social Change
To go to Adam’s Buzzfeed article with the above title, click here.
Hey all. My name’s Adam, and this is a first time post to the RG blog! I’m excited to contribute to a community that has, in a short period of time, already given me a lot support, resources, and (healthy) challenges.
So, here goes: as a young person with financial wealth and class privilege, I’ve often wrestled with how to leverage these things for social change. What’s the best way to support the work of communities that I didn’t grow up in? When am I just getting in the way? Is there a place for me in “the struggle”? If so, where?
I’ve also, relatedly — and this seems to be a common theme — found it SOO SO hard to talk openly about my own wealth and privilege. Criticizing systems — easy! Developing a deep aversion to injustice — count me in!! Facing my own background and sharing my true experiences, vulnerably, with others — please no??
And it’s true that even before struggling to talk about these things, I have had to dig deeper: those first (but continual) stages of simply beginning to recognize patterns of class privilege and wealth within my life. (Able to go out to dinner and skip my free meal at the dining hall? Check. But what about my friend…) And when I was just starting out — and hadn’t done a whole lot of reflection on my own situation — and earnestly plowed forward into “fighting for social change” — I think I probably, as a young person with wealth and class privilege, made a whole lot of mistakes. These are mistakes that we are all susceptible to making, no matter how much “work” we have put in — even if in smaller, less embarrassing ways.
So, here’s a Buzzfeed post I wrote, adapting some of the “bad activist” roles from Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use it for Social Change. I thought it would be a more visual way of getting across some of these mistakes. Cause, you know, it’s Buzzfeed. And it helps to laugh at ourselves a little. Please, share it around!
P.S. You’ll notice there’s a call for another list, toward the end of the post: things we can do, as young people with financial wealth and class privilege, to effectively leverage our resources for social change. If anyone has contributions they would like to make to Part 2, please add them to the comment section or email me at adam[dot]c[dot]roberts[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll try to incorporate them in the next Buzzfeed post!!
P.P.S. If you haven’t read Classified, check it out on the RG site or order a copy — it’s great.