One day I took time off from my job.
I earn vacation time at a high rate due to seniority, so I have plenty. I don't have to be afraid I'll lose my job for this.
to drive two counties northeast to pick up a new truck for Ken's business.
We own a successful family business, which has occasioned a tremendous amount of work and a good deal of satisfaction over the years.
(We both have graduate degrees, by the way.)
One of us was handed her education on a silver platter of expectation and tradition. The other worked very hard and completed on his own.
We left Denton in my air-conditioned vehicle and drove East on Hwy. 380
The car was full of fuel. We have good tires, plenty of oil, and good roads on which to drive. Traffic was heavy but orderly.
On the way we stopped for more fuel and restrooms,
and both were readily available, in multiple locations.
The countryside was beautiful. We passed bois d'arcs and pecans and big oaks.
There were abandoned farm houses and rundown stores, but there were no remnants of bombings or attacks.
We arrived in Cooper and bought a used one-ton truck from a horse farmer.
Ken found it on the internet. The title and transfer forms were signed and handled easily and cordially.
I met a puppy named Reddy who bit my toes.
He was the scariest being I encountered that day.
On the way home, we missed our turn a few times, but eventually we returned to our cool, safe, lovely home.
No one stopped us to challenge our right to travel, our citizenship, or anything else.
Not a day in my life have I ever been afraid,
not the way that people in Ferguson or Trenton or Fallujah or Gaza are afraid.
Once I heard a former official with the UNHCR talk about her work with refugees.
Every person she talked to said the same thing: "I never thought it could happen to me."
I never think it can happen to me.
Because: white privilege.
So, I think I need to expand my definition of "me." If it happens in Ferguson, Trenton, Fallujah or Gaza,
It happens to me.
What am I going to do about that?