POEM BY ELLEN LI
What is privilege?
I pondered the other day.
As my friend continued to argue with me,
Through the late night with darkness creeping,
The darkness seeping through the cracks of the car door.
“You don’t understand! You’re privileged,” I yelled at him.
Only to hear the roar of my voice echoing back at me.
“PRIVILEGE,” he scoffed.
“Privilege is a made-up,
For all of them to create some validity in taking away from you.
A goddamn excuse. Piling of ancestral debts onto me.
Privilege is having an education
Not having to live on the streets to survive your life.
Privilege is having food and drink
To inhale the breath of life
Privilege is the life that you and I have
To not worry if you’ll be shot running around the street
In the dead of night
To have dreams and passions
The ability to aspire for those
And, not screams and cries of survival
When, our biggest obstacle is not wondering if we’ll have the mere ability of life
To wake the next day without a stone of emptiness in our stomachs.
When, our biggest worries eat us from the inside out
And, not the outside in.
We are privileged.
I am privileged.
“You are privileged.”
But, even the privileged hurt.