I don’t do privilege

I have been asked if I want to reconsider a previous piece on here about the death of two young men from vastly different backgrounds.

The answer is ‘No’.

The sudden death of someone from an ordinary background who tried to be less ordinary is always presented as a morality tale by the media and middle class prod-noses. Hints of drug debauchery will be over-played, even if in reality they were negligible.

We upstarts have to be lectured to, potential upstarts have to be given a warning. That is the way hypocrisy works.

The sudden death of someone from a privileged background will never be judged as ‘suspicious’ or ‘preventable’ by a coroner, even if it coincidentally and initially has the warning signs of an overdose of opiates. That is the way privilege works.

But it is not the way I work, not the way I look at the world, not the way I mark sad events. I have sympathy for the family and friends in both cases. But I do not accept privilege in life, and will not entrench it in marking death.

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