This 14-Year-Old Nails What “Being Privileged” Means

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The next time someone argues with you about what "being privileged" means, it's time to break out this video. Royce Mann, a 14-year-old from Atlanta, performed a slam poem called, "White Boy Privilege," as part of a school competition, and man, he nails it. This teenager perfectly breaks down a concept that's still very difficult for some adults to grasp. "Dear everyone who isn’t a middle- or upper-class white boy, I'm sorry. I have started life at the top of the ladder, while you were born on the first rung," he says. "I say now that I would change places with you in an instant, but if given the opportunity, would I? Probably not. Because, to be honest, being privileged is awesome." The eighth grader makes the argument in his piece that, by being white and male, he already has an advantage in life compared to women, people of colour, and other marginalised communities. You see, Mann acknowledges it's not "eighth grade white boys who created the system," but they benefit from it every day. "I’m just saying, I fucking love being privileged and I’m not ready to give that away. I love it, because I can say 'fucking,' and not one of you is attributing that to the fact that everyone of my skin colour has a dirty mouth," he continues. The video was uploaded in late June, but his words feel very timely, and have started circulating again online in the wake of last week's shootings in Baton Rouge, LA, Falcon Heights, MN, and Dallas. His final message is one of inclusivity and building a better, more just world: "It’s time to take that ladder and turn it into a bridge." And, in case you had any doubts, he did end up winning first place in the competition. Watch him perform "White Boy Privilege" in the video below:

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