Last night I was sitting on a friend’s couch trying to find the words to describe my apprehension. Whenever I express concern about going, people usually remind me that there will be guards, etc. But I’m not afraid that
will harm me. Deep, deep down I feel a
certainty that when I sit across from him I will be assaulted, not by him, but by a
By the time he was 22 he’d been arrested 18 times, and then he killed Booker Wright. He went to jail, then prison, and has been incarcerated for the last 39 years. What kind of a life is that? What bothers me about our visit is that I don’t really care about him, and I don’t think that anyone else does either. I'm meeting with because I want to take something from him, his memories.
I will walk in there with my Nordstrom jeans on, and sit across for him for as long as it pleases me to do so, then I will leave and never look back. I will step into this life of loss and tragedy for my own gain. What will it be like to sit across from someone who hasn’t been able to spend their time how they want to, or hop in a car and go for a drive on a whim? It’s like realizing all of a sudden that I am coated with a putrid, nose-burning, un-concealable stench of privilege. I wonder if this is what white guilt feels like.