Local artist brings stories and poems about privilege, power and being an ally

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Speaker Ariel Luckey talks to students about white privilege and allies. Photo by Ciara Kosai

“This is an ID Check like the border patrol, but this is not for your country, this is for your soul.” This line is from the spoken-word poem “ID Check” by local playwright, actor and poet Ariel Luckey that expresses his feelings on white privilege.

Luckey gave a presentation on privilege and power on Nov. 22 in the Carol Channing Auditorium from blocks six to eight.

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Peer Resource leader Adee Horn, who organized the event, has known Luckey since he was in high school. “He understands white privilege and is willing to speak up about it,” Horn said.

“He understands white privilege and is willing to speak up about it.”

During the presentation, Luckey told a personal story about a time when his African-American female colleague was forced to show her ID at a hotel and he was not. He watched as she was carded and didn’t intervene — instead he just stood there watching her in shock. For his colleague, it was something that she experienced often and it did not surprise her. Luckey was motivated to write a poem titled “ID Check” that highlighted the disturbing events and the inspiring actions that white males throughout history have accomplished. Even though white males have done some disturbing things, other white males have been allies for a greater cause.

Ariel Luckey asks students about their beliefs. Photo by Ciara Kosai

Luckey was inspired by love and trying to play his part in making the world a better place. “I hope my presentations can foster dialogue and critical thinking so that they can reflect on their lives and the lives of those in their community,” Luckey said. He wants the students to get better at being in a healthy and safe community.

“The real problem is the person saying the joke or comment does not realize the effect of their words on the person they are saying it to.”

Senior Widya Batin, who was at the show, acknowledged his presence and said that “he is a white male that is blessed with white privilege and knows that he shouldn’t be taking advantage of it.”

After the presentation, senior Thomas Burgess reacted to a problem of microaggressions. “The real problem is the person saying the joke or comment does not realize the effect of their words on the person they are saying it to.”