There's nothing quite as infuriating as being trapped in a conversation with someone who doesn't understand the concept of privilege — that society is set up to afford some people advantages that others don't experience. If you're running out of escape plans whenever the conversation takes a turn in this direction, Casa Girl's "Check Your Privilege" cards are here to save the day. Designed by illustrator Fabiola Lara, the cards are a tongue-in-cheek way of letting someone know their privilege is showing.
Lara tells Bustle over email that the cards were the result of "post-election frustration." Donald Trump's campaign was characterized by xenophobic rhetoric, including the suggestion of a Muslim database; following his election to office, many people aren't sure what to expect in the next four years. Lara writes, "After the election, there was a lot of sadness around me and I wanted to make something to acknowledge that even though we are all hurt, not everyone is going to be equally targeted by the Trump administration."
That's where her privilege cards come in. Printed to look like a standard business card, they inform the recipient that "you privilege just allowed you to make a comment that others cannot agree or relate to." Underneath this statement is a checklist of different types of privilege.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the cards have proven controversial. Inverse reports that the first 45 packs sold out within 48 hours, so they're clearly a popular idea. On the other hand, a number of "alt-right" (read: white supremacist) sites have caught wind of the cards, and their reaction is exactly as mocking as you'd imagine. Lara clarifies that her intention isn't to downplay anyone's struggles, but to remind others that privilege wields too strong an influence to be ignored.
"Being aware of your privilege is just about acknowledging that coming from that place heavily influences your perspective in ways that others without that privilege can’t relate to," she explains, pointing out that a white person will never experience racism in the way that a person of color does. She continues, "I’m not trying to shame people for having privilege, just help people realize that it exists and that they constantly benefit from it (especially under a Trump [administration])."
White men are:— Samuel Sinyangwe (@samswey) January 3, 2017
31% of Americans
46% of Dem Congress
87% of GOP Congress
100% of Trump senior cabinet picks
Institutional racism & sexism.
It's worth noting that the cards are meant to be slightly ironic. "I do, very seriously, want to raise awareness for the different types of privilege, but these cards are suppose to be a light-hearted and playful way to engage with those around you on this heavy topic," Lara says.
The cards might not be serious, but the subject is — and Lara intends for her cards to ease the way toward talking about privilege as a whole. "I hope these cards will be used as a tool to start a conversation on the different types of privilege that people have and benefit from," she writes.
Lara's privilege cards are back in stock, so if you're interested, head over to Casa Girl to get your own supply.