a pretty sure life

by Elouise

The rights and responsibilities
Of a pretty sure life
Hang weightless around her neck

She glides fairly easily
From one scene into the next
Wearing privilege on her skin

Without effort she blends in
Sometimes anxious but rarely for her life
Mature, sweet and polite she passes easily

A charming married woman with children
She meets the gold standard
Against which womanhood is weighed

No need to check her credentials
Her language or demeanor
No need to run a background check

She’s one of us
Sometimes unruly and annoying
Yet harmless
Because her heart beats white

I’ve been the beneficiary of many opportunities. Not strictly because of who I am, but because I’m a white woman. And because I’m not a rabble-rouser or revolutionary. I’m just a steady, dependable, meticulous, relationally gifted white woman who gets along with just about everyone. What more is there?

I don’t regret the opportunity to be part of an academic faculty and administration. I do, however, regret how oblivious I was to my white privilege even though I was part of an unusually diverse community of students, staff and faculty. Only with the Rodney King event and its aftermath at our seminary did I begin to scratch the surface of my white privilege.

I’m reminded daily of how easily our country ignores, suppresses and tries to bury our history. Mr. Trump has made visible what’s been there all along. No secrets here. Just inconvenient truth, and an opportunity to seize the moment.

My heart beats white. I’m still unpacking what this means for me.

Thanks for listening!

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 August 2017
Response to WordPress Daily Prompt: Visceral