Privilege and the EZ Pass

During a workshop this morning about microagressions, privilege, and oppression I had a thought about the concept of the EZ Pass and how it relates to oppression especially when reflecting on this video:

Unequal Opportunity Race from Kimberle Crenshaw on Vimeo.

I thought about how another metaphor that’s related to the inequities presented in race is the EZ Pass on highways. People with privilege are in an express lane that gets them to their destination quickly, but to access the road they have to be charged a toll and there is no concept of how much it costs to travel on that road because it’s quick and automatic. Much in the same way that people with privilege aren’t aware that they’re benefiting from their privilege as it is designed to feel natural.

The people who don’t have EZ Passes don’t get to fly through the gates. They have to be stopped and pay money. They know exactly how much they’re getting charged because they deal with paying the toll manually. They don’t get to their destination as quickly and they’re charged more in their tolls because discounts are offered to those in the express lane. There are traffic jams that slow down progress at the toll booths.

Not ground breaking stuff; just something that I thought up.

Tell me your thoughts