I thought I was brave
with the scars to prove it.
My legacy -
broken bones, split knuckles,
black eyes and loose teeth.
Adulation and respect.
I fought both man and isms
Never backed down.
But a black man, driving
an Uber taught me the truth of
Harassed, insulted, threatened by
a low-life passenger,
white racism covered in a cheap suit and tie,
he refused to take the bait.
He denied himself the pleasure of
He told me his story -
and anger for him, righteous indignation,
crashed over me in furious waves.
I admonished him for not
confronting that mans ignorance
with a closed and determined fist.
Never back down, right?
Gently, he spoke the truth of
black men in America.
His eyes caught mine in the rearview mirror.
You, he said, are innocent until proven guilty.
Protected by a system that
I am guilty - period - and would be lucky
to be arrested, not killed,
in a confrontation with that bigot.
So he did nothing, let the swine in a tie
off at his destination,
and drove on - leaving that pig to
wallow in his hate.
His bravery earned him nothing.
No adulation. No respect. No recognition.
Nothing except another day of life.
Another day with his family.
In contrast - my lifetime of bravery.
A pale reflection, when set beside his truth.
He was brave, not I.
My self-styled bravery, forever
by my privilege.