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Talking About Privilege — With Catrice M. Jackson

Privilege comes in many forms: socio-economic privilege, gender privilege, heterosexual privilege, to name a few. But behind every case is an imbalance of power, invisible to those who possess it, and ever-present for those who don’t.

In today’s episode, the Sugars reply to two letter writers who are facing different forms of privilege. In the first letter, a woman and her fiancé can’t agree on a last name for their family. He wants her and their children to take his last name, she is frustrated that he doesn’t understand that his preference stems from his male privilege.

A second letter comes from a woman who calls herself “Mother of White Privileged Children.” The Sugars call on Catrice M. Jackson, a leading voice for racial justice, to help answer her letter. To help children see their own privilege, Ms. Jackson says, “This mother really needs to step up and do her own work, to figure out what her weapons of whiteness are so that she can lay them down.” Together, Ms. Jackson and the Sugars discuss ways in which racism is internalized, and outline best practices for talking about privilege.

Ms. Jackson is the author of “Antagonists, Advocates & Allies” and “White Spaces Missing Faces.” She created SHETalks WETalk Race Talks for Women and WETalks for women of color.

The Sugars Recommend

“Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism,” by bell hooks
“Talking Back: Thinking Feminist, Thinking Black,” by bell hooks
“Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates
White Privilege Checklist,” by Peggy McIntosh


New episodes of Dear Sugars are released weekly. Do you have a question for the Sugars? Email dearsugars@nytimes.com.

Amory Sivertson Twitter Co-Host and Producer for New Programming
Amory Sivertson is the co-host and producer of Endless Thread.

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