It is hard to garner privilege when you begin with none — for those who have to reach for it, it remains perpetually out of reach. mailer would always have it and Capote would not, because Mailer assumed that he did and Capote, the perennial aunty-man no matter how hard he wrote, assumed he did not.

-Hilton Als, White Girls. McSweeney’s: San Francisco, 2013. p 101


I need to take a moment with assumption.

There is something amazing potent about the assumptions on which we base our lives. Call them common sense or facts or knowledge, but they remain assumptions. Previously, hearing talk about people assuming identities, I thought of an act towards the identity. I realize, though, there is something about presumption operating as well. There’s a certain acceptance of a new identity as baseline known truth. Watching people succeed in seminars and life in college, I always had the sense that they must know something I did not. They spoke with such assumed authority. I learned then how words stood as truth and the assumptions were enacted as they spoke. The assumption of privilege.

Ass out of U and me. Don’t assume. Yet what are our facts but the assumption that we can confirm these truths to be self-evident? Evidence of self might just be the assumed identity. Assumption of power. Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Assumption, supposition, appropriation, expectation, confiscation.

What are you taking for granted? How are you taking it — by force or assumption?