Because of my race, I can eat at a fancy restaurant without the wait staff expecting me to steal the silverware.
The video of the 14-year-old student’s slam poem at his school has gone viral in the midst of heated national discussions regarding race and privilege. Performed at a slam poetry competition in May at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Royce Mann’s winning poem offers a reflection on the privilege he feels he has been automatically awarded as a result of his being white and male… Royce said that he knew about white and male privilege for most of his life, but never knew how prevalent it was in society until he attended a class called “Race, Class and Gender” that opened his eyes.
Because when a credulous 14-year-old is encouraged to declare that all white males are “scared of what it would be like if… I didn’t have my white boy privilege safety blankie,” this is now an aesthetic and political triumph. And when that same child says, “It is embarrassing that we still live in a world in which we judge another person’s character by… the colour of their skin,” while judging millions of people by the colour of their skin, and doing it proudly, this is something to applaud as both brave and insightful. Behold the makings of a morally corrected citizen.
The poem in question can be heard in full below:
Via Jeff Goldstein.