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  • Edie Montreux

Omelas

My bestie and I had to have a conversation about white privilege yesterday.

He had to explain to me that he can’t just stop responding to white people on social media (or ask them politely to respect his privacy – they don’t listen) because they will escalate the situation. They show up at his door if they know where he lives. OR they turn to the police as a resource. As the tragic case of Bothel demonstrated, when white fear is involved there is no safe ground for a person of color to encounter the police, not even their own home.

This is the world we live in. The country we live in. The forward-thinking city he lives in.

There isn’t just one child locked in a dungeon in Omelas (The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, Ursula Le Guin). There’s an entire minority class, and not just one minority, either. It’s anyone who isn’t white, cis, het, and male.

It’s time for all of us to walk away from Omelas. If society only functions for a privileged few, and only some are able to enjoy the safety provided by those assigned to “protect and serve,” the privileged are living in Omelas. It’s going to take a few white/cis/het males, maybe more than a few, walking away from Omelas and demanding better for all of us to change society as a whole. It’s hard for people who don’t even recognize their privilege to reject it, I know, but that’s what it’s going to take.

Don’t even get me started on trying to live someone else’s life through social media.

I want a world safe for my bestie, where privacy and people are respected no matter their skin color, gender, sexuality, or beliefs. Please, y’all, be that world.