WHITE PRIVILEGE

Folder: 
MARCO! POLO!

 

Sitting in the airport

in Port au Spain Trinidad

on an Autumn day;

Sunday afternoon

with NFL games on a TV.

 

I have some time to burn

then fly to Barbados

on an island hopper.

 

I get into a chat

with a black guy from Alberta

coming back from Guyana.

 

We rapping about travel.

He found Guyana too raw

and undeveloped

and was heading home early.

 

Then he starts complaining 

about the local Caribbean dialect:

“I couldn’t understand them.”

 

I empathized,

“Yeah, I have a hard time

with the patois.

I smile and nod my head a lot.”

 

He responds,

“You’re white so

they expect you to misunderstand.

I’m black so they assume

I can understand them.

 

I’m just listening

and he goes on.

I’m from Alberta, Canada.

I don’t understand that language.

It’s white privilege.

You get away with not knowing.”

 

I couldn’t argue his point

and we continued talking

until his plane boarded.

 

He was an interesting guy.

I shook his hand and wished him luck

as he left to catch his flight.

 

I looked at the board 

and my flight was next.

I spied the TV screen
to see Aaron Rodgers 

toss a 4th quarter gamewinner.

 

I looked at my boarding pass

& I have priority boarding.

I thought about his comment

white privilege.

 

I didn’t have any argument at all.

 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

based on a true story.  Names omitted because I don't remember them.  Airports provide a lot of inspiration considering how much I bitch about them.

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