Tag Archives: Privilege

Whiteousness – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly challenge – Privilege

Photo: Professor Steve Locke detained on the street because he looked like someone the police wanted in relation to an attempted break-in. Steve Locke – “I Fit The Description”

“The police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbours feel the opposite.” Natalie Portman.

Whiteousness 

Blue and red like a vapour 
flashes off the windows
all around me,
siren squeals a warning and
I pull over to the side,
my routine, rehearsed so often,
plays out in tension real,
window down,
no sudden moves,
papers and cards out,
both hands on the wheel so
he can see there's no threat,
sweating now, anxious,
is my misdemeanour worth my life,
will I bleed for colour today
to make this man feel righteous?
Do I fit the profile,
do I look like someone he
needs, wants, to shoot?
Don't stare,
sound soft, polite,
don't be black,
ingratiate,
just make it easy on his ego,
right or wrong,
his mood determines my future,
Right or wrong,
his privilege is my death.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, quote, Racism

Never – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Privilege – dVerse Poetics

103c9a2ca035545b04d40f3f71667e7f--simple-cartoon-white-privilege.jpg

Cartoon: Kirk Anderson of MolotovComics.com found out upworthy.com

Never

I walk the streets,
I go into places and spaces,
I talk back
I stand my ground,
I question the police,
I speak a common idiom
and anticipate understanding,
a nod and a wink.
If I raise my voice, I’m assertive,
If I forget my wallet
it’s like, come back tomorrow,
I never have to think of my
colour or gender.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,  pvcann.com

31 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, life, poem

One Day Soon

Atone – Word of the Day

Christine-Blasey-Ford.jpg

Christine Blasey Ford, who dared to call out not just a man, not just a powerful man, but a presumptuous power culture. Mother, aunt, sister, cousin, friend, colleague, neighbour … we’re all connected.

 

 

One Day Soon

She is every woman from every place,
from factory floor to research lab,
she has been assaulted everywhere,
from home to conflict zones,
she’s been invaded and degraded,
tables turned
now offender,
victim on trial.
Liar, Liar, crucify her,
bay the kangaroo court of power,
the ancient privileged cyclops
who laugh and jeer,
and feel supreme,
yet deep down,
driven by a fear that,
just maybe,
one day
they must atone.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

 

Paul,

pvcann.com

20 Comments

Filed under community, life, philosophy, poetry, politics, Whistleblowing

Privilege

Privilege used to have a general meaning, that you had achieved a right by education, promotion, or sheer hard work. There was a clear pathway, others could see how you got there, and it generally revolved around integrity. But privilege was also connected to a process through community of some description. To be a leader meant that others knew you, knew you had integrity, knew you were for real. In education, especially tertiary, one must be constantly in dialogue and in research and writing, peer reviewed, and of those who worked hard it was that they had rubbed shoulders with many and got their hands dirty in the area or topic they were passionate about.

I’m not American, but I’m concerned that America has descended to privilege those not entitled to be. Take the case of the current president of the U.S. Donald Trump, a business celebrity who appears to be incapable of being a state-like leader. Of course there are a number of theories as to how he got elected:

  • Tough talk in a time of weak talk.
  • Promises to the disappearing middle-class.
  • Playing the race fear card.
  • Tough talk on defence.
  • Rhetoric: Make America Great Again
  • Crass talk: playing up the larikin male.
  • Religious manipulation: playing up to conservative Christians.
  • Not being Hilary: the backlash on privilege factor.
  • Voter participation was low.

And they’re just a few. I think tick all would apply. It says to me that, irrespective of who he is, Trump didn’t get there by hard work, education, or promotion. In my view, he has no integrity because he is clearly manipulative rather than consistent or open. Part of his getting there was his public persona, so he has traded on his celebrity status (if you’re thinking about Ronald Reagan, no matter your view of him, at least he got involved in state politics and worked at it).

Then comes the #Me Too campaign, an important step forward for victims of sexual abuse (and shameful for leaders, entertainers and others privileged by power). And up pops Oprah Winfrey. Now I quite like some of her interviews and some of her book recommendations, however, I really wonder if her Golden Globe moment (and I loved her speech) wasn’t with a view to self privilege, I have questioned if this was a deleiberate act (and maybe it was selfless). And I wonder that those Democrats who decried the nomination of Trump as shallow because he was a celebrity, are now being hyocritical by suggesting the nomination of Oprah to run for president.

My own view is that both Trump and Oprah are being privileged by status, power and money, neither are really political nor really connected to the real process of legislative leadership.

And it is my view that Trump and Oprah are constructs in the public mind, they are who the public want (need?) them to be, when more than likely, they are not anything like that nor capable of being like that (who is?). In the hands of poltical parties they are a product that can be marketed and thus consumed. My fave actor is Juliette Binoche, but while I love her work and some of her opinions, I wouldn’t want her to be president or prime minister simply based on my fascination for her as an actor. Same goes for the really wealthy, for example; Bill Gates, Warren Buffet. It leaves me thinking that celebrity is privileged not just by status and wealth, but also by liminance – that they evoke in us a warmth, a fondness, a feeling not unlike falling in love.

Privileging a leader is also about gain, those who privilege want to be privileged, a never ending sychophantic cycle.

So where is the integrity in leadership? And who will speak for those not privileged (including our friends – nature)? Who will set aside privilege in order to lead?

Paul,

pvcann.com

21 Comments

Filed under community, Philosophy/Theology, politics