Hibou magazine is a student run journalistic outlet aiming to hold intellectualism at AUP accountable and to voice our critiques of and goals for the AUP community.

Editor's Warm Corner

Editor's Warm Corner

How does one come to terms with their own privilege?
— Overlie Herbert

Dear Overlie Herbert,

Here is a Shel Silverstein oldie but goodie that might resonate with you:

Helping

Agatha Fry, she made a pie

And Christopher John helped bake it

Christopher John, he mowed the lawn

And Agatha Fry helped rake it

Now, Zachary Zugg took out the rug

And Jennifer Joy helped shake it

Then Jennifer Joy, she made a toy

And Zachary Zugg helped break it

And some kind of help is the kind of help

That helping's all about

And some kind of help is the kind of help

We all can do without

That is a lot of wisdom coming to you from 1972. So, how do we be helpful? White guilt tears are probably not how. You could realize that you are actually a member of an oppressed people that has been covered up by white washing, which would lead to terrible fear that your whiteness does not make you invincible, like you thought it did. That fear could smack you in the face and make it impossible to ignore fear of persecution and intersectionality. That was largely my process. If I’m Jewish and scared, I can see how other people are scared. If I’m white and feel safe with the police and scared to lose my status, I can see how other white people might feel attacked.

Fear of persecution is a terrible and immense fear that permeates body and spirit, and privilege makes it impossible to understand this, so the greatest step towards making peace with your privilege is putting your ego down, acknowledging what you don’t know, and listening more than you speak. Also read more, please. Ultimately, everyone wants to feel safe, and we are all safer when we are working our absolute hardest to elevate each other. Rabbi Tarfon taught that we are not responsible for finishing the work of perfecting the world, but we are also not free to desist from it. You are not at fault, but you are responsible. Don’t be sad, be helpful.

How does one continue life knowing that the person they absolutely despise the most is also the love of their lives?
— Poo Bear Douglas
CHUCKBLAIR.gif

Dear Poo Bear Douglas,

Don’t be like Chuck and Blair, riding off a cliff together, having decided that they owe it to the depth of their connection to stay committed to the toxic sultry tent they’ve pitched on top of all hopes of independence and emotional intelligence. Consider, instead, how you want to spend your time and energy. Olivia Gatwood commands this in her poem, “Alternate Universe In Which I Am Unphased By Men Who Do Not Love Me.” Though much literature on relationships targets women, this advice is relevant to all genders. She proclaims:

Left over from the other universe are hours and hours of waiting for him to kiss me,

And here they are just hours.

Here they are a bike ride across Long Island in June.

Here they are a novel read in one sitting.

Here there are arguments about God or a full night's sleep.

Here I hand an hour to the woman crying outside of the bar,

I leave one on my best friend's front porch,

Send my mother two in the mail.

[…]

The man tells me he does not love me, and he does not love me.

The man tells me who he is, and I listen.

I have so much beautiful time.

Poo Bear Douglas, you are probably over-identifying with this person, but as Richard Siken brilliantly points out, “Everyone needs a place. It shouldn’t be inside of someone else.” It is hard to believe people when they tell us what they are, and it is hard to create a wholesome space for ourselves. Sarah Kay is here to cradle our cracked hearts with this excerpt from her poem, “The Type.” She appeals,

It is hard to stop loving the ocean,

Even after it has left you gasping, salty

So forgive yourself for the decisions you’ve made

The ones you still call mistakes when you tuck them in at night

And know this:

Know that you are the type of woman who is searching for a place to call yours

Let the statues crumble

You have always been the place

You are the kinds of woman who can build it yourself

You were born to build.

Try, Poo Bear Douglas, to shatter the construct of this hateful person as the one true love of your life. Your heart may still love the ocean, but have you seen how beautiful lakes can be?


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