Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How White Operates, Too Often

Way too often, White
goes out like a boomerang
toward what is right
and fair and just, only
to turn in reactionary air

and curve home, home,
to righteous hate, selective
outrage, a change of "heart,"
smug safety, reunion with
old friends, and other amenities
of the supremacists' field
from which
the boomerang
was launched.

Whether you're Black
or White or something else,
here's the thing: if
you truly "get it,"

then you will know
what "it" is, and
you'll nod at
the tautology
(for sure),

and so,
you know,

no doubt
gratuitously,
I advise:

Beware of the White
radical, the White liberal,
the White conservative, and
it goes without saying
the White unapologetic bigot
spewing hate like a spigot.

Beware of them all. Be
unsurprised if they turn
back, if they curve a return to
"home," if, in fact,
they simply are not able.

For they are simple and White,
terrifyingly simple,
and they live
in a White-rewarding world,
and in most cases,
over the long haul,
they are not able.
They just aren't able.


hans ostrom 2013

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