It's human nature - we always want something better. We just don't like to admit that, actually, life isn't so bad. We especially don't like to admit that, in comparison to others, our situations might be pretty damn good. Acknowledging that we have some advantages over others is like accepting defeat. Accepting that everything we have isn't purely due to hard work. Yet, until people can think a bit more rationally in terms of comparing their situation to that of others, there is no way we will ever achieve equity in this country and beyond.
So, I'm breaking the silence. I am standing forward and admitting that, yes, I have advantages in the society that I live in. In fact, I have a lot of advantages.
Firstly, I am white and was born in England. If you think this doesn't give you an unfair advantage in Britain you are ignorant to the world around you. There are currently 41,000 16 to 24 year olds from black, asian and minority ethnic communities who are in long-term unemployment. This is a 49% rise from 2010, whilst at the same time unemployment has made a 2% fall among young, white people. Not that I can get my head around many statistics considering I am absolutely appalling at maths, but that just doesn't make sense. Even worse, if I lived in America and was a young black man, I would be 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by police than a young white man! I can't even comprehend those odds.
I am also from a relatively privileged background. Not that I'm a part of the upper echelons of society or anything (I come from Medway!) but I do come from a financially secure family. Statistics suggest that students with parents that are unemployed are less likely to perform well at school. All-encompassing assumptions on the part of employers towards those from an underprivileged background may also mean that they are less likely to be chosen for a job over someone they think is of a higher class.
I'm not bragging, I promise. Even though it may just sound like I'm trying to show off about happening to have white skin and having coincidentally been bought up in a relatively financially secure household! In the word's of Nick Carraway's father, "Whenever you feel like criticising any one ... just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had." And I try to keep in mind even if Gatsby himself doesn't. I will continue to strive to create a society that is based on equity and before this can happen it is of the utmost importance to recognise that equity does not yet exist, even if that means having to break free from the human desire to believe that we always have it the hardest.