•Simon is a young Bahamian with things on his mind who wishes to remain anonymous. His column 'Front Porch' is published every Tuesday in the Nassau Guardian. He can be reached at email@example.com.
To borrow a line from a popular advertisement touting American Express: membership has its privileges. Membership does indeed have its privileges, especially with regards certain groups whether because of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin or class.
While many understand the obligations that come with privilege many are blinded by its conceits, such as arrogance, hypocrisy, indifference and other blinding moral deficits. Privilege is often an accident of birth, not the will of God, something that xenophobes, jingoists and fundamentalists of all stripes often forget.
Pride in one’s tribe, denomination, religion or ethnic group is understandable. But, forgetting that membership in such groups should be rooted primarily in membership in the human race and must often transcend group identity is morally dangerous.
Failure to grasp that the privilege of human being comes with the obligation to acknowledge that privilege in others, has given us holocausts and crusades of all sorts, entrenched systems of racial apartheid and economic structures which masquerade as free and fair, while maintaining systems of privilege for select countries and groups.