Poetry: Privilege

Joanne Dingus  (Director of Religious Education)

Joanne Dingus
(Director of Religious Education)

Privilege  by Joanne Dingus

Don’t worry about me.
My kids will be treated fairly by their teachers at their well funded schools.
The talk I will give them will have more to do with remembering to brush their teeth, do their homework and clean their rooms than about how to act with the police.
Don’t worry about me.
When I wear my hooded sweatshirt down the street people will know I’m cold or going to the gym.
I can take a shortcut through someone’s yard and not be questioned.
Convenience store clerks will not be afraid when I enter their stores even if it’s late at night.
Don’t worry about me.
When I’m riding in the elevator of a nice hotel,
I won’t be mistaken for the maid, the janitor, or a kitchen worker.
I won’t be asked to carry someone’s luggage to their room.
Don’t worry about me.
I can let my kids play on a playground and the worst that may happen is a scraped knee or broken arm from falling off the swings.
And my doctor will accept my insurance that my work provides and attend to my child’s needs.
Don’t worry about me.
I will be hired if I have the qualifications and interview well.
I will be given a mortgage for a home or a loan to buy a car with only routine paperwork.
Don’t worry about me.
I can go 60 or more in a 55mph zone and not be stopped.
But if I am stopped, I will not have my body slammed against my car, face pressed against my windshield or my hands cuffed behind my back.
I will not be arrested. I may get a ticket but more likely a warning.
And if at any time, I call the police to my house, they will help me, respect me and keep me safe.
Don’t worry about me.
But do worry.
Worry because my experiences are not yet universal.
Worry because my privileges are still based on the color of my skin.
Worry and act and make change happen.
Make equality a reality
Then you won’t need to worry about me or anyone else.

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