Global issues surrounding race, privilege, and inequality remain essential topics for discussion. While many strides have been made to improve upon some of the absurdities that were once commonly accepted, recent events have shown there is a lot of work still to be done.
Whether you have been directly affected by many of the recent tragedies or have only witnessed them secondhand through the media, we all know one thing for certain: this cannot be maintained.
No one else should have to die, and we as a collective should be rooted in the principles of love and community, rather than separation and violence.
Wanting to do his part in helping to create this world, 14-year-old Royce Mann wrote a powerful spoken word piece which he performed as part of a competition at his high school in Atlanta, Georgia.
The poem, titled “White Boy Privilege,” takes the perspective of those who are considered most “lucky” on the subjects that they are expected to know the least about.
The entire speech captivated and resonated with his fellows peers — from all walks of life — and serves as a wonderful call to action for all of us to do our part in creating positive change in this world.
Royce caught my interest right off the top by starting his piece with a series of apologies. While he personally had no reason to seek the forgiveness of anyone he addressed, he openly recognized the unnecessary challenges that they have had to face — challenges which he never has and never will experience himself.
While the “politically correct” thing for him to do would be to state how he wishes he could trade places with them, I love how he openly admits that he never would. He reminds the entire world of just how wonderful his privileged upbringing has been, and that everyone should instead be brought up to that level, as all of us deserve to be treated in this way.
We all deserve the right to not be pinned to stereotypes or be physically judged, and we deserve to actually be protected by those hired to “keep the peace,” among many other fundamental rights that Royce addresses.
I also appreciate how he reminds us that there is more than enough of these necessities for us all to experience them equally and that there is no reason for some to be given it in abundance while others fight for even the smallest sliver.
We all have gifts, we all have talents, and we are all beautiful in our own way, all of which should be celebrated equally rather than proportionally based on manufactured notions of superiority.
No matter our ethnic background, skin colour, sex, income, or any other box society would put us into, we can all play a role in changing this world. And until we do, as Royce reminds us, it is flat out embarrassing to be a part of what we seem to have created.
What are your thoughts on Royce’s spoken word poem? And more importantly, what are some action steps that we can all take today to help Royce turn that ladder into a bridge? Let us know via the comments.
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