Conversations in Black and White

abbie By abbie, 14th May 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

Going through some older material, and stumbled across this piece. A rare gathering for my siblings and I,before things got too crazy and busy. We tried to touch base every now and then, but it seems once again life has gotten in the way.
The memory here is a good one, I enjoyed that evening.

Conversations in Black and White

We’d been busy. Watched Arnold wipe out the bad guys, passed on experimenting with New Age cuisine. Now we perched on bar stools twirling around our gin, vodka and bourbon. Waiting for our table and the rest of our party.
After their arrival, nibbling on appetizers, our conversation edged its way to the more serious side. We’d gone through the small talk, so why not? It seems like something we do, debate. Intellectual tugs of war. We inevitably discuss issues we know nothing about.

We are children of privilege. Comfortably middle class, so what do we know of socio-economical graphs, poverty level, psychologically damaging environments? The point of privilege was our removal from such obstacles. Sheltered.
We lived, learned and worshiped with whites. Cocooned in a white section of West County, we put on our uniforms and bypassed all the factors that could have changed our existence and have seriously altered the futures of countless others. This does not stop our heated debate. As if we had a clue.

We’re educated successful adults. Working hard on our goals and providing for our families. So what is it we’re so caught up in? Nothing. None of us has any idea how desperation can led to destruction, getting our next meal from food pantries, nor our bills paid by charity. We are essentially blind to the plague that is ravishing not just our people, but all those who don’t have. But we’re not deaf or completely insulated. Growing up has moved us further away from our protected beginnings, to the edge of the chaos. Secretly we would like to distance ourselves from the crime and the violence that is deeply enmeshed with the color of our skin. But we can not.

We are anomalies. Belonging to that tiny corner of “us” not reeking havoc on “them.” We do not rape, rob, abuse, nor have babies one after the other. We don’t sit on our asses, brains collecting government money. Our children are not behaviorally impaired, learning disabled, nor drugged. They are not bused to the far side of the moon, forcing them to rise before the sun and coming home close to evening. They don’t receive free breakfast nor lunch. They are clean. They have received their immunizations. They are real. They too are rarities. And it is a shame.

While we sit in a nice restaurant, discussing issues of black and white, the rest of the world moves to the tunes of turmoil. Our conversation, no matter how heart felt, will not slow the music. We haphazardly toss good intentions between rounds of gin, vodka or bourbon, knowing full well nothing will change. We don’t have the power, nor do we really want it-not even that stops our passion. It’s clear some change is needed. Exactly what and how, remains untouched. Which is perhaps how it should be. How can children of privilege possibly impact the lives of those who don’t have? We can’t, no one person can.
For the moment, through the haze of gin, vodka or bourbon, it is clear or maybe not, that it will take a collective effort or more gin, vodka or bourbon.

Tags

Conversations, Debate, Families, Family Relationships, Love

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author avatar abbie
Born and raised in the Midwest; poet, mother wife

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Comments

author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
15th May 2014 (#)

Interesting take, Abbie. As long as we are aware of the world around us and give the nudge towards a better future either by action or words, we have done our part. The rich tend to fear of becoming poor while the poor dreams of becoming rich - so I do not know who is more blessed! Improvement should start from within and for that awareness should happen - siva

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author avatar abbie
15th May 2014 (#)

thank you for reading, appreciate the feed back

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author avatar Delicia Powers
15th May 2014 (#)

Always a very profound journey...taking that hard look at oursevles ...thank you abbey so very well done....

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author avatar abbie
15th May 2014 (#)

the journey continues, thank you for reading and your feedback

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