Social Distance…Words for She who Stands on the Steps of the Ivory Tower


Social Distance.

It is interesting to ponder this phenomenon in present times, but also with regard to a pervasive instituitional functionality. Here, I reference the rivers, lakes, and oceans it builds between the people that you love. They will say that you are different and that you have changed, whereas in reality, all that’s changed in the way they view you. Those that relished in your subjugation and admiration must now see themselves for what they are—not who you thought they were. Those who saw potential as mediocrity find insult in your ambition and downplay your achievements. That pomp and circumstance, that hundred-thousand dollar sheet of paper that assigned you additional letters after the white man’s name transitioned you from the little girl who’s gonna be someone one day, the little engine that could, to the woman  who did. You acquired the white man’s accolades but rather than acquire white interiority your experiences afforded you a new pride and purpose. What was designed to defeat has not even defined you

The institution was supposed to socially distance you from your blackness-that which you presently espouse in cultural grasp not contract. It was not supposed to socially distance you from white supremacy, but somehow it did. Somehow you seized a victory your adversaries sought to actualize to your deficit. 

The institution presents the illusion of social distance, the illusion is of a staircase when those who you thought were rooting for you at the top excitedly anticipate your fall from the bottow. The reality is, you’re standing in the same place, with pristine vision that afford white supremacy a transparency. 

It is not an island my love, and you see that. For those transformed by the institution see an ivory tower not a prison. Here they will not pay you less a dime to make panties. No, you’re the one being made, yet they think they’ve made it. They feel as though they’ve arrived. They ask how long the train’s been gone, but you know the best kept secret: it’s yet to come. 

Social distance, a stance we all should have taken centuries ago. Social distance, a position we should have taken when they tried to train us into slaves behind the veil of education. 

 If the walls could talk, they’d ask why we didn’t use them as a shield rather than a secret-keeper. 


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