"I think you would rather be smug and think that your current position is all due to how wise and industrious you've been, and are just afraid to acknowledge all the unearned advantages you have.
I'm comfortable. And I have worked for it, yes. But there are people who work a lot harder than I do, and don't get where I am. I got a head start. I have a friend who worked harder than I did in school, and is every bit as smart as I am, but did not have the advantage of having a supportive family, a well-off family, of being white, or speaking English without an accent. I don't deserve to have anything more than she does, but I do.
I've made some good choices, yes. But they were choices that my friend never even had the opportunity to make. And I've made some really bad choices, but have not felt the effects as much as I would have if I did not have money or was not white.
I know that racism, sexism and class difference hold people back, because I've watched it happen. Cause and effect happens on a societal level as well, in the form of patriarchy, institutionalized white supremacy, heteronormativity and other power structures.
The only difference between you and people who do not have a 'comfortable' life is that you were lucky enough to be born to unearned advantage."
[TheAwl.com - Ask "Them": Why Don't You Feel an Obligation to Help the Poor? - 05.21.10]