Aimless Affluence

Sabreen Hussain, Writer

Privilege exists within all communities in one way or another. Wealth often amplifies privilege by providing access to opportunities, resources, and networks that can further reinforce one’s advantage. In affluent communities, such as Anaheim Hills, privilege can manifest in various ways with access to high-quality education, social connections, security, healthcare, and political impact. Wealthy families can afford to send their children to private schools or live in neighborhoods with top-performing public schools, equipping their children with access to better educational opportunities. Consequently, they’re put in a position to easily network and socialize, leading to job offers, business partnerships, and other advantages. These individuals could live in gated communities or maintain a security system, providing them with additional safety and protection. This also comes with access to convenient healthcare, including preventive care, specialty care, and medical treatments that are not covered by insurance. The opulent population has financial resources to support political campaigns and donate to political causes, giving them greater influence over public policy.

This privilege can be harmful if gone unrecognized by generally reinforcing systemic inequalities, invalidating the experiences of marginalized groups, maintaining the status quo, and perpetuating stereotypes while hindering self-awareness. For example, someone born into a wealthy family has access to better education, healthcare, and job opportunities. This perpetuates the cycle of poverty and disadvantage for those who weren’t born into the same circumstances. When someone with privilege is unaware of their advantages, they may not understand the challenges faced by marginalized groups. This can lead to the invalidation of minority experiences, a lack of empathy for their struggles, and the disregarded need for change. Unrecognized privilege can cause harm to oneself by perpetuating feelings of entitlement and reinforcing harmful behaviors. This can prevent progress toward a more egalitarian society. For example, someone who is privileged may assume that someone from a certain racial or ethnic group is less capable without realizing that their assumptions are based on stereotypes rather than facts. This can lead to a lack of personal growth and hinder one’s ability to build meaningful relationships with people from diverse backgrounds. Privilege in affluent communities is not limited to socioeconomic status. It is also influenced by race, gender, apt, sexual orientation, and other factors. It’s important to use one’s privilege to help dismantle systemic inequalities, recognize it, and work towards creating a more equitable society for everyone. Be the change!