Shawn Wildermuth

Author, Teacher, and Filmmaker
.NET Foundation Board Member


Tagged with Privilege

On Privilege - A Personal Perspective

Young Shawn I've been mulling this topic for a long time now. I had aimed to make this into one of my video rants, but I want to make sure the words I mean are the words I say. This is purely my view of the idea of privilege in my own life.

I consider myself a fairly successful person in software. This isn't how it was supposed to be. I was born into a family on welfare in the projects in New York City. My father's schizophrenia kept him from working most of the time. My mother, a teenage mother, waitressed to help make ends meet. Contrary to expectations were not the only white family in our apartment block. Our next door neighbor, a black woman, often watched me and my brother and sister when my mom had to work and my dad was having one of his bad days, which was often. We loved her like a second mother.

I wasn't destined for anything. Growing up poor in the United States is tough. Hard to see beyond the next paycheck and food stamps. I was just a kid so I didn't realize how difficult this was for my mother.