How I Freed Myself From White Privilege Forever
It’s over. My path to self-actualization, I mean. This liberal arts degree I’m getting? It’s really just for the job security now. The nagging sense of doubt I had about my personal character every time I threw an empty PBR tallboy into the trash instead of the recycling? Whatever, yo. I’m good. I’m Gucci. I’ve got a Facebook album full of photos that proves I’m a good person, and it’s entitled “Guatemala Service Project, Summer 2012.”
I remember when my bro Jayden told me he was gonna do a service project, and I laughed in his face. Going off to some fucking nowhere group of huts in middle earth and helping the browns for three months? When I could be going to minimal techno parties in Bushwick every night, rolling FACE and dancing with ombré-haired freshman girls getting their first taste of the real NY scene? Get out of my face with this world peace shit, pal. I want a window into a life of struggle, I watch The Wire, you feel me?
After Jayden told me about how employers drop their panties for people with “alternative vacations” on their resumés, though, I had to smoke on it. After about four bowls of Chem Dawg, I had an epiphany: wouldn’t it be dope to tell people that I spent my parents’ money to fly across the globe and help those in need? Yes. The answer was yes.
After we landed in Guatemala City, Me, Jayden, and some of the other service project-goers took a van ride into the sticks that lasted like infinity hours. Normally I woulda just bumped some Golf Wang on my iPhone to pass the time, but I ran out of battery on the flight over watching The Hurt Locker (dope movie, but Avatar deserved the Oscar). When we got to the village, it turned out they didn’t even have electricity. What the fuck? How was I supposed to Instagram? We drove down this dirt road to this one-room circle building, where we were each assigned a host brother. After I struggled to ask mine if he knew where I could buy some weed around here, he showed me to my room, which I had to share with him. Instantly I was steamed. No electricity, no drugs, and now, you’re telling me I can’t jack off in privacy? I instantly regretted ever leaving my parents’ home in Park Slope.
Life in Guatemala took a lot of getting used to. When I saw my first group of Guatemalan kids, they looked at me like I was some sort of God, running my hands over my white skin like they thought it was paint that would just rub off or whatever. It felt weird to have that sort of shit foregrounded, ‘cuz in America, we don’t really talk about color anymore. Plus I only got to bring one backpack full of shit, which meant I only could bring one Supreme snapback. But it turns out it felt good to be seen helping people and shit. Together, we built a school for these kids, and we got to teach them. I never actually built anything with my hands before, so it was rad getting to rough it like the pioneers. I was in charge of teaching English, and after I made them learn all the stuff they were supposed to know, I got to teach them swear words and rap lyrics, which was hella rad. We dug a well so that they would have water besides the stuff in the river nearby. On the last day, Jayden put me on to the bottle of Henny White he bought at the duty-free with his fake ID, and then snuck in with his backpack. That last night was crazy. That’s all I’ll say.
Living in another country changes you. Like, I don’t even shower anymore, ‘cuz I didn’t back in the Guat’, but sometimes I take my fixie down to the Hudson river and just wash off in that, y’know? I’m used to it, and it’s better for the environment. Plus I can speak Spanish a little better. Do you know the word for “ass?” It’s “culo.” Quiero mucho sexo en su culo, chica. Haaaaaa.
The real best part though was that after I came back, I uploaded the film the service project organization made of us helping the poor kids onto Facebook, and all the photos they took, and all that got probably 120 likes combined. 120 likes! That’s some hot girl shit.
That’s when I realized, if all these people like what I’m did, I must be a good person. No, I AM a good person. It’s fact, son. Not everybody spends their parents’ money to be able to tell people they did community service, but I did. I went the extra mile– literally. I don’t have to ever do anything else in my life to prove it again; I’m a good person, and you know it.
I’d be going to heaven for sure, if I wasn’t an atheist.