White Privilege

via Daily Prompt: Fact

It was an indisputable fact that Richard’s skin colour was white, most of the time. For despite his constant effort, his skin colour would change to red when he saw Stephanie, even though she never noticed him. There was also the Summer months to be taken into consideration when his skin would change to a light brown tone. But we can safely say that Richards skin was white most of the year. It was also a fact that Richard had many other physical features besides his white skin. He had brown hair, brown eyes, a slim build and at thirteen was the tallest boy in his class. He was also kind, sensitive to a squirming degree and non-judgemental.  It was also an indisputable fact, as he was constantly reminded by his eighth grade teacher,  that he belonged to a specific group called white privilege.

Being part of the white privilege tribe, he was constantly told by his teachers, politicians and special interest groups that he was to blame for all the oppressions of his European ancestors against indigenous people. He was also equally to blame for people with skin tones different from his not getting the best jobs, not having the highest salaries, being harassed by police and for having the largest prison population. He was not sure how he had effected this but absorbed this knowledge along with math and geography.

When the school bell rang at 3:20 p.m. he made his way from the classroom to the kindergarten area to pick up his younger sister. They both walked home together, Theresa skipping ahead while he kept his wary eye on her for any unforeseen events. They made their way to the sixth floor apartment building where they lived. As usual the elevator had broken down so they proceeded to the doorway to climb the stairs. The stairs were strewn with the usual collection of empty beer cans, cigarette ends and miscellaneous wrappers. He smelt the tang of urine on the third floor where someone had peed in the corner. He passed Joe on the fifth floor, a person of white privilege like himself, who was sitting, staring vacantly into space clutching his half empty bottle of tequila. He reached apartment 604 and guided the key, attached to the string around his neck, to the door and opened it.

While Theresa proceeded to their shared bedroom to play with her dolls, Richard proceeded to the sink to attack the dishes. Having completed the dishes it was time for homework. Around 5:00 p.m. he poured cornflakes into bowls for his and Theresa’s supper. His mother was still at Walmart working the 4-8 shift. From there she would proceed to her 8:30 to mid-night shift at Tim Hortons. These were two of the three jobs she had to support her family. His stepfather had disappeared when Theresa was born. The rest of the evening they watched television together and soon after he settled Theresa into the lower bunk while he climbed into the upper bunk. Closing his eyes he allowed his mind to wander over the days activities and was reminded of his teachers discussion on white privilege. He gave a sigh as he accepted his burden.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s