Wednesday, January 3, 2018

I wish I could

Dear Manzil,

I wish I could walk into a room of
people completely different from me and
not want to run and hide

Not want to wish I was white or a man
or skinny or tall or less freckled

Maybe they would mansplain, whitesplain, and body-shame me a little less?

Maybe they'll try to not proclaim how we live in a post-racist non-heteronormative world where fires that consume us are just smokey products of coincidence

Maybe they'll try to not tell me that I am walking on glass floors that used to be ceilings and that mothers want everything and can have it too

Maybe they'll listen when I anger and when I question without needing to tell me I'm
over-caring, over-thinking, over-feeling, over-being, over-asking

I am underwhelmed by their inability to step outside of their privilege
Perhaps it's overwhelming to see that my otherness is so utterly otherly

I wish they would know
I don't have excellent English speaking skills
They have a poor knowledge of history

When they don't know where Mali is
Or that India is in a different time zone
They don't get to tell me that we live in a post-racist not-ethnocentrist United States

If they decided to sit-out their right to vote
They don't have right to tell me global climate change is a hoax

But these dualities are not alone

The world is really very very grey
But that doesn't make mansplaining and gaslighting something that's in your head

And it doesn't make it so you won't do it yourself

Being partially white, assigned male at birth, and born into an educated, privileged family in this city
You don't control

But if you mansplain, whitewash, or choose to not question your privilege
Then, my dear, we need to talk

Because, Manzil,
I wish I could walk into a room of
People completely different from me and
Not want to run and hide

And I wish you never have to experience that

I love you,
Mamma

829

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