haikai

A White Priviledge Witness: a #haibun

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Binghamton, 1991. We all sat in a downtown restaurant. A waiter took all of our orders–except for our friend seated at the head of the table.

He was the only one among us with a brown complexion.

waning moon

an “I meant no offense”

too little too late

The Bronx, 2010s. One of my students, a young man of color, told me how a store employee followed him when he entered certain bodegas. Store detectives did the same when he entered department stores like Macy’s. When “Stop and Frisk” was still legally practiced by the NYPD, he lost count of how many times he was stopped.

cloudy night

too many hard stares

to accomodate

Anywhere in the present. Various friends and aquaintances with white skin protest their priviledge. They tell me how they began with “nothing” and earned “everything they made.” Some of them claim that they “don’t see color.”

I remember my friend from Binghamton. I recall my student from the last decade. I wonder what they would say to my pale-complexion friends, who never endured anything like that, and who’ll never wonder whether or not they didn’t get the loan/job/house because of the color of their skin.

first starlight

the deniers of priviledge

protest too much

for dVerse Poets’ Poetics: On Privilege (pubtended by Anmol (alias HA))

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Categories: haikai, haiku community

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7 replies »

  1. I love seeing that waning moon on a cloudy night. I agree that sometimes we think we understand others who are different from us, but really we don’t know or understand their everyday struggles against prejudice and discrimination. It is a sad thing, when people of color are being accused or ignored, when all the others are being ‘favored”. I appreciate the personal share Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These narratives are so significant in this discourse. Thanks for sharing them with an understanding which escapes many, Frank.
    I love how you bind these stories through the thread of a night sky: “waning moon”, “cloudy night”, and “first starlight”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. love the haiku between each contemplation, sheds light on the repercussion of the acts mentioned, the subtle discrimination is more damaging than an actual physical assault. thank you for telling their story

    Liked by 1 person

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