A Culture of Privilege


I wanted to give you feedback on the “Living the Dream” article (HCN, 7/20/15). When someone is profiled who only earns $1,800 a summer, it tells me: “This is someone who has a support structure in place to be able to live on that little money.” It’s someone who does not need to support other family members and does not have debt  — conditions that do not apply to the vast majority of people in this country.

This reminds me how far we have to go to really recognize just how exclusive this culture can be. It’s not intentional, but there are not many people — black, brown OR white — who can identify with the lifestyle and choices depicted in that article. By not recognizing that, you miss an opportunity to include more people in the dialogue — and maybe even turn people off.

I see that HCN has a diversity statement. That is great, and important. I challenge you to continually ask yourselves how the articles you publish — the framing, the assumptions, the conclusions — may perpetuate a culture that has traditionally excluded all but the most well-off, and white, Westerners.

Erin Uloth
Bellingham, Washington

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