Privilege

Privilege

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,

Merely-BS-kinda-term.

For all of them to create some validity in taking away from you.

A goddamn excuse. Piling of ancestral debts onto me.

No.

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.

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6 thoughts on “Privilege

  1. Stephanie says:

    First of all, lolololol @ max… At least, I think that’s Max… but then again, who else would link to a video with the word “hunty” and “true tea” in the title? Also, could you give me literally every song that plays on this new blog (rip earthtoellen2k15) because they are all perfect. (Even though I accidentally had the volume on my laptop turned all the way up in a library while I was writing this and it might have definitely blasted out at full volume… whoops…)

    Anyways, you have a great poetic streak in you, girl. I think this poem was honestly a breath of fresh air and a reminder to us all that we really are lucky. I know that I complain a lot about school and college admissions and everything, but really, I should be grateful for this stress. There are plenty of people who would dream to be in my position, who would kill for a chance to go to a great school with great teachers and to be able to have parents who have gone to college and can help me out with the college admissions process. Wow. I just realized that I am the epitome of a privileged brat. ;_;

    But, like you said at the end, even the privileged hurt. Our circumstances doesn’t lessen our problems or pain, although we should keep in mind the less fortunate when we complain about our sister taking the last pizza roll or slice of cake. 😉 Ellen, if you’re going through anything, just remember that your situation doesn’t invalidate your problems at all.

    Us privileged people can cry it out too.

    Like

    • ellenphant7 says:

      Bahaha yess that was definitely Max. And, I love you ❤ My biggest fear with the music is that it'll scare the geez outta someone or blast out of some poor oblivious soul's computer at the worst possible time. But, yes I will tell you all the songs when I see you soon:) also, I totally agree, I think that in some ways everyone can learn to be a little more appreciative about things… I know I definitely need to work on that… Sometimes we tend to think that if something is unfair in our lives, we are entitled to take it to the extreme as if that one thing were an injustice to the world when honestly it's probably not that big of a deal (lolol). But, it's not exactly our fault that we act this way… That's just how our lives have been and we fail to recognize how trivial some of our problems are relative to those of the rest of the world. ( wuv you stephy. Also, ignore all the grammar errors… I tend to make more of those when typing on my phone. I'm sure the shallows has some sort of proof on why that's a thing)

      Like

  2. marleyhays21 says:

    YESSSSSSSSS! This was a really cool post. Obviously, I know the context of this conversation because you told me it, but reading it here definitely gave me a different perspective on what you were saying. Privilege is often used in the context of race. Often, it’s only used in that context. And while, undoubtedly, there are certain races i.e. white people who don’t experience racism in the way that others do, privilege is a complex system that is working everywhere…all the time. Yeah, I am privileged. REALLY, really privileged. “To wake the next day without a stone of emptiness in our stomachs.When, our biggest worries eat us from the inside out.” Dang. I never thought about it that way. We have to be careful about how we use the word privilege. We have to make sure we put everything into perspective. Ultimately, everything in the universe is an intersecting mass of confusion, hardship, joy, and most importantly, exceptions. Sure, a white male is probably more privileged than a poor subsaharan african schoolgirl, but to overgeneralize everyone’s experiences is to deny us of what makes us truly human-our ability to connect with others. Obviously, we can’t be colorblind about racism. But we also can’t separate ourselves to the extent that we can no longer relate to people who are different from us. Awesome poem; you should try slam. 🙂

    Like

    • ellenphant7 says:

      YAY. THANKS MARLES ❤ You're absolutely right. That's great input. I'm sure other people could argue that there are other words we could use instead of describing people as privileged. However, I honestly believe that we, people living in a first world country, are privileged even though we still have many hardships and ordeals. I'm sure there's much much more we can discuss about this topic in person 😉 as well as much that we've already discussed haha but thanks for commenting nevertheless. I've yet to convince myself to do slam, but I'll keep considering it. Love ya!

      Like

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