I am white

I am white.

I don’t know what it’s like

To fear

Discrimination, bigotry, name-calling, death under a knee

I am white

Brought up in a white community

With white friends

I don’t know what it’s like

To feel how you feel

To live your existence

To have a history of constant oppression and special rules

Fighting, protesting for survival

I am white

I have been privileged

In ways I still don’t understand

My fear is different and now feels like nothing

I have nothing to fear

But you do, my friend, and for that my heart grieves

You are hurting and trying to speak

The words of your life

I am listening, humanity is listening

We hear the voices for equality, solidarity, justice

We acknowledge your pain

Pray for change, for acceptance among all brothers and sisters

I am white

and always on your side in love

I have loved you no matter the external forces

No matter the darkness

But I have been too quiet

For far too long

I am with you

I will take a knee alongside you

I will be a voice with you

For I am white

and I don’t know what it’s like

Keep telling me

What I’m doing wrong

Every day

Tell me what it’s like

How you feel

What you need

I am listening

22 responses to I am white

  1. Actually, I as a white woman have experienced discrimination, name calling, etc. 10 months ago in dallas texas a young white male was knelt upon in the same way as Mr Floyd, similarly, he died…but I’m betting you never even heard of him. Am I right?
    While lovely idealist words …this is a part of the problem, not the solution.
    Our likeness is so much more profound than are differences.
    We have all experienced injustice, hurtfulness, disrespect, woundedness, grief, sorrow etc.
    We have a history that hasn’t always been one to be proud of but it is OUR history together AND we have overcome SO much and weirdly, there is not one single thing that we overcame, conquered or changed, independently!!!! We have ONLY achieved those things TOGETHER.
    I was born in the early 60’s so I know first hand what real racism is and looks like. Disagreeing with someone isn’t racist. Disliking someone for their behavior is not racist.
    I will not apologize for being white nor demand an apology from anyone who is not. None of us chose our skin. We did not choose into what family we were born, our ancestors etc. The only thing we have a choice in is how we choose to treat others.
    I choose love even though I may or may not agree with them, I can still love them.
    I should have been a racist. I was raised by an extremely racist stepfather who’s horrid racist rhetoric should have indoctrinated me.
    But, it was that experience of being the only non-Hispanic child on my grandmothers block where I lived as a very young child and none of us even knew it….we were just friends.
    It was landing in a foreigne city somewhere and placed on a bus to go to school in kindergarten and being the only white child on the bus full of older black children….coming out of school with a dozen buses all looking the same and not knowing which one was mine or how to get home and being retrieved by the black girls from my bus who took care of me everyday, making sure I hot on the right bus and off at my stop.
    It was my first grade teacher, a young black woman who took me under her wing, went out of her wat to encourage this shy little white girl, praise my every effort. And, I didn’t have someone getting me up for school or feeding me before or taking me there. I simply woke up, dressed and walked to school without knowing what time it was. My teacher, although she wasn’t allowed to let kids in before the bell rang, would find me sitting on the ground at her door when she arrived. She packed a breakfast each day, secretly taking me in and feeding me each morning. She made sure I was given a lunch each day. And, she brought a box of clothes to my house for me once. I often wondered how that looked to my racist stepfather, if it shamed him.
    I’m nearly 60 now and yet, I remember her, I remember the girls on the bus, my friends as a babe.
    If your wondering what can change a mind, a heart, the world….only one thing. Love.

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Laura, thank you for your thoughtful comments and allowing me to see pieces of your childhood and the people that influenced you in not seeing the color of skin. My upbringing was completely different as I grew up in an all-white community, without friends or teachers of differing ethnicity. Then I was married to a man for 30 years (I still don’t know why I stayed that long) who was bigoted in many ways. I wonder, too, how I was not indoctrinated, but I have never had hatred in my heart toward other people. I have a sympathetic heart and I embrace a commandment of my faith, which is to love my neighbor (there are no “except if’s” to this commandment). Anyhow, I truly want a world where we stop seeing color and start seeing people…humans…as all worthy of being on this planet, living and breathing.

      My poem was in light of the things I don’t understand about being black or a person of color. We do live in different worlds and most likely I am clueless about those differences. I am trying to learn. I want to know the injustices and inequality they face, how I can be empathetic and supportive, how I can simply love without pandering or saying really stupid things.

      Police brutality is awful and we should learn of it no matter the victim’s race. Police Chiefs and departments need to stop protecting their own when officers commit such acts and they need to start embracing evidence based practices and a gentler mindset when dealing with people in the community.

      Yes, love is the answer. If only everyone on this planet held it as one of the great riches in life.

      • I really should write a post about it all. On the other end of the same spectrum, my stepfather sold me to me real father just before my 10th birthday. My father became a cop so I also understand that perspective, what it means to deal with the most wounded, hurting, victimized people in society, all day every day and simultaneously, the worst elements of society that created them. I know what good cops are, do and sacrifice for all of us and because my dad chose to work internal affairs for part of his long career, rooting out bad cops. I also know they exist as well.
        Early in life, the early 60’s, still I witnessed something novel and remarkable, the bi-racial couple emerging. I observed the difficulties they endured but also their willingness to not only endure but fight to love one another. The trek of it over the decades to becoming common place where today it’s just a normal part of daily lives and our society, generation of bi-racial children rising up and this new society we’ve built where almost every family has become bi-racial in some way. Seeing this is like witnessing nature heal itself. My family has several black, Hispanic and bi-racial members and what that means for us is so simple….we are just a family and we love each other.

      • bikerchick57 says:

        I think that’s a great idea, to write about your upbringing, your father, your friends. I imagine you would have a lot to say.

  2. P.S. Funny story.
    I ran an oil change business years ago and one of my employees ( a young black man) Lindsey and I were great friends. In fact, I loved his sister and his mothers.
    Bring great friends, we were completely open with one another and never feared honesty between us.
    I came to work in a rush with my hair still wet from my shower. Linsey says ” Can I ask you a question? Can I smell your hair?” Then explained that his grandfather used to tell them that white peoples hair smelled like wet dogs when they were wet.
    I died laughing and told him my stepfather used to say the exact same thing about black people. And, I told him I didnt think it was true in either case but that he should smell my hair just to be sure and let me know honestly.
    Picking up the length of my hair, he brought it to his face, breathing deeply then promptly said, I knew that BS, I just wanted to prove it! It smells just like flowers. Lol

  3. Mary, you have awakened to our truth as black and brown human beings. That is a big first step to work for change. Blessings, Sister ❤

    • bikerchick57 says:

      Rosaliene, thank you for your beautiful comment. I truly hope the country and the world is changing in love and acceptance. Hate and discrimination are intolerable and I can only imagine how tiring that must be. Blessings back to you. ❤

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