Privileged Ground: It’s Black, Red, Yellow, White Privilege (WP) and Brown

How do I know about WP? I’ve experienced it in myself,
in relationship with others, have observed its symptoms in
groups, have studied it, journaled about it, analysed it,
thought about it, and used rituals to broaden my
comprehension of it.
________________________________________________________
A small group had gathered around a vending machine in the
belly of a hospital parking garage-strange things can happen
within these structures. Sometimes, truth is stranger than
fiction.

Having Diabetes, I needed a snack-I’d forgotten one at home,
so I was waiting to buy something; as I waited, I inched ever
closer to the machine. I could feel this small throng’s irritation
at having to wait on someone else, when they had an
appointment to go to, etc.

When I was close enough to see the action, I noticed a bent-
over, disabled, elderly, woman-of-color, dressed in somewhat
shabby clothing; I felt the group of spectators anger that she
was taking so long at the machine.

I knew that moment, I mean, I knew WP in that present
moment, when one of the spectator-bosses looked
over at me, with her emotions registered through her non-
verbal communication, as if to convey to me, without words,
“This old gimp is making us all wait on her. Some of these
disabled folks are just all about themselves, me, I & us. I’m so
fucking pissed, I could scream!” (I thought, oh, no, please
don’t!)

Her signaled look to me was a tactic to get me (as another
white person) to be her ally in ignorance, but I wasn’t
buying it.

I walked to the machine & asked the elderly woman if she
needed any help. Yes, she said, I can’t mash down the button
for what I want. She told me what she wanted, and I “mashed”
down the right button. Kerplunk! Her item fell into the bottom
tray with a metallic thump. I reached in and grabbed it, and
gave it to her. Then she walked away, and I didn’t say
anything. She was gone.

WP, it seems to me, almost inherently filed in my cranial
computer. Indeed, an image may be worth a thousand words!

Copyright: Christopher Bear-Beam October 26, 2017

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