Recognizing Privilege

Over the past two weeks, I think Spanish racism has served me well.

Many people told me horror stories about trying to get residency documents and working papers. Clerks were going to decide suddenly that I’d be missing something and have to try again. Or I’d wait for hours and then told to come back another day.

The reality couldn’t have been more different.

Everyone was really helpful. I sailed through every appointment and I haven’t had to wait for anything for longer than twenty minutes.

My being a white male with a British passport probably had a lot to do with this easy transition to Spanish residency. The English in Spain might be an annoyance to some, but to most others the English are infinitely preferable to the Romany, Moroccans, or Ecuadorians.

And unfortunately I’m far too much a realist to believe that everything was so easy solely because the Spanish government works more efficiently now.

Someday Lessons:

  • Our level of privilege in society usually isn’t a choice but it’s important to be aware of it.
  • Just because something is simple for you, don’t assume everyone else will have an easy time.
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