it’s not always so pretty

I once heard that love was never having to say you’re sorry.
They got it all wrong— that’s privilege.
Love is feeling so deeply about a person that when you’ve hurt them,
you want to do anything in your power to make it better.
Love is about trying to rectify what is wrong in the world.
Love is about pushing yourself to explore the dark corners of your own prejudices.
But not saying sorry—yeah I’m pretty sure that’s privilege.
Privilege is the department chair [our beloved professor] going ching chong ching chong
And saying that people aren’t offended by this because it’s accurate
(afterall, he’s been to China and “caught all the diseases to prove it”)
Privilege is questioning why the rest of the world hates America… and then failing to examine our history of colonization, war, and exploitive trade policies
(cause surely that can’t have anything to do with it?)
Privilege is screwing over your own community just so you can get YOUR rights
Privilege is the Chapel Hill mayor telling my friend that he wished she would recognize that they’re looking into the “transportation problem” when she’s spent the whole semester waiting hours for a ride to law school that’s only a mile away from her house
Privilege is thinking you are a person who gives other power as opposed to an ally or comrade in the struggle for individual and collective power
Privilege is thinking you are entitled to participate in our spaces, even when the whole world is your space…and you still make an effort to exclude us from it.
But right now, privilege is what’s getting in the way of our friendship.
(and this my way of telling you so.)


Filed under writing/poetry

8 responses to “it’s not always so pretty

  1. bev

    Yes, yes and yes. Privelege is also that which is invisible to those who hold it. The ongoing struggle see it, yes, even my own, those varieties of privelege I possess, to acknowledge and address these openly, and though I often fail, that is love.

    I hope the individual(s) you address here are able to hear this important message. You have stated it eloquently.

  2. Wow! Great stuff.

    If this was directed to a certain person (or people), I hope they will hear the love in it. 🙂

    I can hear that you want so much for them to change, for their own good.

  3. Corey

    Wow. You are damn powerful writer.

  4. There is a lot of privleged people these days.

  5. This is unbelievably good. You, my dear, are an amazing writer.

  6. This is a very evocative poem. You can feel the passion and intensity just reading it.

  7. Yes and yes.

    I couldn’t find your email, but I wanted to say that a comment of yours at BlackAmazon’s blog really resonated with me – “the way dominant culture has constantly used this tactic to try to shame us into silence and no one has really called them out on it.” I feel like a lot of the times, when I try to express pretty simple disability rights issues, I get ignored-put down-laughed at because what I’m saying too extreme.

    Anyway. Love this piece, love your blog, and I’m sorry for being a lurker – will try to remedy that.

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