I first saw Morris’ comic on privilege on Imgur.com an image sharing site. Imgur is a sub community of Reddit meaning a majority of the users are White college aged men. The community of Imgur has been changing over the years and it has helped me keep a pulse on the collective consciousness of millenials. Since turning 30 and getting married I find myself more and more distant from what young people are thinking about. It's been a very easy transition out of the young world and into a more adult or routine based existence. The highs are not as high and the lows are not as low. I can see why over time most people choose to settle down and in a way give in to their age. But I digress; the point of this story is about how these young people are thinking about their own lives. I have seen the Imgur community change from a more opened minded and progressive community to one of greater division especially with the up coming presidential election.
Like I said earlier the Imgur community is mainly young White men who are in college or recently graduated with debt. In the past year or so I’ve noticed then become more hateful and aggressive toward women and feminist rhetoric. They have stopped supporting African Americans and have begun to vilify them saying things like, “Wow, look a group of black men breaking the law.” And that comment is getting hundreds of up-votes. I still follow Imgur since I’ve been a part of the community for almost 8 years. But the culture is changing and I believe it’s not just those young angry men but also an entire swath of America who feel they are being left behind.
But Imgur still provides some deep insight into what people are thinking. The comic Privilege on a Plate by Toby Morris so succinctly sums up privilege in a clear and understandable way. It’s something all people born without of feel instinctively, they know deep inside that the game was not fair from the onset. I will admit that I was born into privilege but it was not until college that I realized how privileged I really was growing up. UC San Diego was the fist time I went to a public school and my of my friends there grew up in much harder conditions than myself. They overcame the odds and got good grades and ended up at UCSD, I on the otherhand was pretty much handed everything but I came to acknowledge that fact. The comic argues that not only is life so unfair but the most dangerous part of privilege is last frame of the comic where Richard says the key to his success is, “Less whining, more hard work I say. I’m sick of people asking for handouts. No one every handed me anything on a plate.” Richard and people like him truly believe that they did this on their own. It seems the more successful you become the more you believe that you earned it and are less likely to be generous and support policy that help the poor.
This digital story is important because if sums up so beautifully and major division in our society. As the rich become richer they are more likely to see the unfortunate as those who were not given a good opportunity but rather people who deserve to be poor for lack of effort.