Privilege?

Privilege? I’m sorry I seem to have forgotten what that word really means. You see it’s been forced in my ears and down my throat so many times I’ve become numb to its bitterness. Like when you eat the same cup of ramen noodles everyday, after years it will lose its flavor and you begin to wish for something else, anything else. I long to hear something else, anything else out of the mouths of the people around me who know nothing about me. People in the store, people in the restaurant, people on the radio, people on the bus, and people on tv tell me day after day that I am privileged. As if the color of my skin is a VIP pass to life, but I never wanted the ticket. I’m told that my absence of color means I have life easy as if I don’t spend every day questioning how I’ll afford the next one as if I didn’t spend more of my life hiding than actually living and as if I haven’t been the subject of hate crimes, violence, and bullying for as long as I can remember. You can not look me in the eyes and tell me that I am privileged because of my skin, not because I don’t believe you would, but because my eyes are too full of tears and too afraid of conflict to be looked into. You assume before I speak that I will hate you. You assume many things about me and assume many thoughts I have about you, but before I go any further I want to say that I love you, yes I know it may be hard to believe, but I love you. I have been through far too much in this lifetime to not love every human being I am fortunate enough to interact with. No one is perfect, but everyone is human and everyone deserves a chance to be themselves. Why can’t you accept me as myself? Why must I conform to your standard for who I must be? Did I not already sign over my future to this world? You act as though I need to pay for a crime I did not commit, like I need to hurt because you have hurt, as if I need to prove to you that I am more than just my skin. I don’t have to prove anything to you. For someone so concerned with crimes against a race, you seem easy to ignore the way you treat those different than you based solely on their race. Where is this privilege you speak of anyway? Did I somehow miss the oasis of my white skin? When I was wandering the desert desperately thirsty for a single kind word you threw rocks. My stomach is full of the stones I have swallowed along the way. They weigh me down to prevent me from spreading my wings. Each rock itself is handcrafted from years of hate burning in the mouths of a people I have never harmed and engraved with the words white privilege. The phrase is just an excuse to be racist and call yourselves the victims as if you’ve never hurt another person and the only ones capable of hate are those of a different color. The words themselves burn as they roll off my lips and serve to remind me I am still in this desert. I’ll let you know if I ever find that oasis, but I’m tired, so very tired, so please stop throwing stones.

This poem is about: 
Me

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