White Privilege

How to explain white privilege to my father,

who his whole life has never known anything more than saving money for a house to be harder

or to my grandmother who is too blinded to see that no white person would ever consider me to be white.

 

How to explain to my father,

that if I was a boy instead of a girl, I too would be the stereotyped,

the black youth, roaming the street, destined for unemployment because of the pigments in my skin.

 

How to explain to my father,

that reversal racism has never existed

because of the simple fact that slavery cannot be omitted from our history

Yes dad, bringing this up again, might seem a little like persistence.

I’m not claiming that discrimination is only defined by black existence,

but to say that we are living in the 21st century where white and black are equal

–and even in that sentence I am conditioned to put white before black–

is to deny the years of past evil.

Is to say that we have been repaid enough for mistakes, not made on your behalf,

when repayment should not have even been a discussion in the first place.

 

How to explain to my father,

that when I see the life of another black human being snatched away,

even if I do not know them personally, I still feel their desolation.

because they are innocent victims

of ingrained racial anthems

which have been played for years and years on repeat

and still I have to explain to you, why being black and white for me is so bittersweet?  

 

How to explain to my father,

that being white, you cannot never truly understand

what it’s like

to be born with a sense of innate persecution for nothing other than being

you.

That even if you can’t understand any of this, doesn’t mean you should set this all aside

and if you can’t begin to sympathise, well it’s like you never even tried.

 

I’m not asking for pity, or a shortcut out of life’s harshness,

I’m simply asking for us not to be punished for our darkness.

This is not an attack on you or white people,

because I do not hate that part of me and I do not hate the pigments that are beneath the layer of your skin.

I just find it hard to pretend that this, at least for me, isn’t the

reality.

 

How to explain white privilege?

I don’t even know where to begin.

 

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