Bananas – By @LaskarisPhillip
The world is full of talk about race and privilege. I’ve decided to talk about something completely different. Bananas.
The other day I was eating some banana bread I made. It was really good banana bread. I mean it was delicious and frankly, most of the banana bread I make is delicious because I have great bananas. I’ve had them all my life. But next to me, my friend Kam was also eating banana bread that he had made. He did not like his banana bread. His banana bread was terrible and it tasted terrible because he only had access to terrible bananas. He told me that most of his life, he’d been getting bad bananas.
It turns out I was born on a street with a really great banana stand and he was born on a street with a really bad banana stand.
My really good bananas make it super easy to then make great banana bread. And people flock to buy my banana bread because they know the street I live on has great bananas. Kam’s banana bread is always avoided.
Kam was puzzled. He didn’t get why I was getting better bananas than him. So he started doing some research into it.
I told him, what’s the big deal? You just clearly aren’t as good with your bananas as I am. For me, this was a Kam problem not a Phill problem and he had to sort out his mess.
Kam did do his research though and found something interesting. The bananas he got were only bananas that I had refused to buy and they were then brought to him. There was a system in place that made it so he got second grade bananas. The bananas always came to me first.
Now Kam was upset, but I didn’t care. I told him that I made my banana bread following the system so he should have to as well! But Phill! He said, the system favours you! It’s not fair!
I ignored Kam, again. I didn’t think that could be possible. I had seen a couple of people from his street make great banana bread, surely this isn’t the banana delivery system’s fault.
So I kept making my bread until Kam came back to me and showed me how the delivery system is flawed. He proved it to me.
I felt like a ripe idiot. I said I was sorry for not believing him when he first told me about it and sorry for everything I had done to keep him where he was. He told me not to apologise, instead, he told me to help change the system. Help make sure him and everyone else on his street got the same bananas I did.
I told him I would help by learning what needs to be done, by making sure to point out the flaws to people on my street, and acknowledging that this isn’t a Kam problem. This is very much so a Phil problem because I was letting it happen.