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Black Lives Matter Mixed With White Privilege

September 1, 2017

South of South Station on the outskirts of Boston

A city amongst the most segregated in the States

Black Lives Matter signs

Fitted with white font against a black backdrop

Zip tied to chain link fences

began popping up on street corners

 

Whiteness doesn’t live in Dorchester, Massachusetts

& seeing these signs reminded me of conversations

That I had with fellow whites when they said

All Lives Matter, Brian

Not just black

What about white privilege?

Get the hell out of here,

You think black and brown people are the only ones suffering?
I know plenty of white people struggling

These conversations went south before I had a few sentences out of my mouth

But I won’t give up

I’ll find a way to their mind

Even if it takes time

 

Minus religion,

Most people won’t believe what they can’t see

& In a society steeped in visuals this isn’t a surprise

 

How then can I get through to those who were bestowed with benefits solely because of their skin color?

 

First strategy: storytellin’

I am a white male

& my experience has been perched atop a position of privilege.

I realize that.

One can’t change their skin color,

but one can continue to mold their mind.

Up until college, I never knew this privilege existed

Because I couldn’t see it.

No one taught me

No one challenged me on this subject

I was ignorantly living it

Then I was lectured on it, studied it, and began to see it play out in the media

Now I teach it

Knowledge is power, yet it’s not everything

I’ve never experienced the misfortune of being on the other side

Books and media can only inform one so much

I’ll never know what it feels like to

I’ll never know what it feels like when

I’ll never know what it feels like

By inserting scenarios I act like I have an idea

But they’re blank because I don’t

 

Self reflection is a powerful tool to promote understanding.  

What’s your experience with white privilege?

 

Pushing past personal narrative

Let's get to the cold hard truth

 

hmm

What if I try and use rhymes?

What if I try to use art

To open others hearts

All in an attempt to push back against prejudice?

 

Second strategy: Spit facts that flow

 

Those three white words Black Lives Matter stick out to the naked eye

The way young black men pop out to police officers

I’d be remised to say ‘all’ officers because by stereotyping

we all fall back into the trap  & hand of a man whose mind has the power

to pull the trigger when ‘threatened’

and even if the trigger finger is silent, saving families from seeing

blood run, puddle, and unfairly finish someone’s life

Black Lives are not spared from living behind bars, barred from living a life

Like those whose skin resembles fresh computer paper that prints the statistics

which speak to systematic racism

In major metropolises like LA   Philly  &   NYC

men of color are five times more likely to be stopped, frisked, than those whose pigment aligns more to the police

 

So if you think that all lives matter, you’re right

But not all lives are marginalized

Not all lives are persecuted at such a rate and at times left without a trace

& if we trace it all the way back to when blacks were stolen

& chained and took with no shame by men whose skin color resembles my own

we can see why Black Lives Matter has always needed to be seen, vocalized, and most importantly rectified

----------

 

At the end of the day,

These are just strategies

& This is just a poem

This was white privilege mixed with black lives matter

 

Can these techniques break the boundaries that the brain has placed around race?

I don’t know

It could kick start thought.

 

My thoughts on this subject seem so minuscule to the real

Dangers and anger that people of color face

But by talking about sensitive subjects

By engaging with those whose hearts and minds are far right

By encouraging self reflection around race we can continue to move forward

I hope

I don’t know

But I do know I will join the fight for what’s right

& I hope y’all are with me because

As a collective nation

we all play a part

In promoting peace

As a collective nation

We all play a part

In pursuing and fighting for justice

 

 

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