deepundergroundpoetry.com

Breaking with White Solidarity

I am White, and racist        
by systemic socialization            
as well as personal ignorance—            
           
it's not something I chose            
but a cultural privilege            
I was born into—and learned;          
thus, cannot fully understand    
the impact on Black Americans           
           
this liberates me            
from defending, deflecting, and denying            
the racism that exists—            
especially in me!              
or, that I contribute by birth    
to its complexities            
           
More importantly, I admit              
I need to unlearn, keep unlearning            
and most importantly. . .            
never be done            
with the education process            
             
I am the least qualified            
to teach intricacies of racism            
because I am part            
of the White collective:            
           
that is a fact—            
any personal experience as White            
doesn't compare            
to being Black in this life            
           
Maybe it's a taste;            
however, even that is not strong enough            
to summon a needed turnabout            
           
Because I'm part of the contribution—            
it doesn't matter that it's inadvertent;            
or something I'd like to reject—            
what matters is its truth;            
it's ingrained: I admit it            
           
I make stupid mistakes—            
unknowingly say wrong things            
because I'm not called out            
by those I may have hurt            
           
I'm not called out            
because it's a daily part of their life            
and not worth the risk            
of further alienation by Whites              
who honestly think they're allies            
           
On the contrary. . .            
it's easier to bear            
the indignity of the error            
they've grown up swallowing—            
           
until an issue pushes them over the edge—           
then all that pent-up anger vents;            
before Whites judge the action of it            
           
Racism: I am part of the issue            
whether I like it or not—            
and have so far to go            
to make any difference            
in this world; but, I do know. . .            
it begins with acknowledgement            
           
So, please, if you're Black            
Hispanic or Latino;            
if you're Native Alaskan or American            
if you're Maori,  Asian, Hawaiian            
Eastern Indian or Pacific Islander. . .            
             
call me out on my ignorance            
when I stumble            
so that I can truly change—            
because we all know            
it begins with our self first            
           
I can assure you I will listen            
and own that mistake            
so as to never repeat it again            
~  
 
#Blacklivesmatter
Ahavati
Author's Note
Call me out - in honor of Juneteenth.
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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