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'I'm Not Racist'

How dare you suggest that I’m racist, having known me lo these many years? Just the mere accusation, brings me nigh unto tears. Nothing could be more hurtful, my character brought under attack, at the risk of sounding cliché, “some of my best friends are actually Black!” The ‘Good Book’ says we should examine ourselves, to guard against spiritual regression, allow me to test your ‘faith,’ by asking you one simple question. Could my son, black as night, marry your only daughter lily-white? If the answer is ‘no’ in the vaguest, then yes of course my beloved.., you’re racist! But, I lay not this sin to your charge because racism is far to systemic; therefore, many good White folks just like you cannot be to blame, for a disease so inherently pathogenic. When challenged with moral relativism.., hence the above test question, the racist symptoms can usually be seen in one’s eyes.., our soul’s most honest reflection! I’ve seen that look a million times in everyday situations. Pre judged so cavalierly.., imagine my anger and my frustration! The old lady in an elevator clutches her purse extra tight! Walking through the parking lot and hearing car doors locking out of fright! The Cab drivers refusing to stop! Being spied on and followed by store clerks, when I’m only in there to shop! Sigmund Freud argued that “one’s racist urges often do not reach consciousness because they are unacceptable to one’s rational, conscious, moral self.” I’m not completely sure what that means, I’m just a wannabe poet.., but if I had to expound, I think it screams.., YOU CAN BE RACIST AND NOT EVEN KNOW IT!!!!!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021




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Date: 4/25/2021 2:18:00 PM
Yes, one can, James. Thanks so much for this poem. It is meaningful, expansive, inclusive, and points out the often misunderstood systemic racism that abounds in this country. Keep fighting it. I will!
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