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I read the news today, oh boy…

I was unfriended during the summer of “we’re all in this together” on my social media page for writing the following poem. You can have a look for yourselves. Not surprising that a white woman would find it offensive, if she feels her position somehow needs defending. This reminds me of the old story, that if you talk about racism, acknowledge its existence– you are a RACIST! This was the most common argument I heard from peers and teachers growing up non-white in the urban Canada of multiculturalism’s heyday. But, one asks– what about the police? If talking about racism makes you racist, then surely talking about crime makes you a criminal?

So it doesn’t surprise me that many of my former colleagues are so invested in a system that they think a simple land acknowledgement about Aboriginal displacement should suffice, but that people of colour speaking out about a world in which they are dehumanized moment by moment, from womb to tomb– is aggressive and anti-white, if not, “reverse racism”

Hallam Road, Necessary Neighbours, Kaushalya Bannerji, 2020

.Before I go on, I want to address this aspect of “cancel culture” that started not on Facebook or the internet, but in real academic institutions, the unofficial blacklists of BIPOC students perceived as too “coloured”, too “radical”, too much with a “chip on their shoulder”, too ready to “play the race card”. The blacklists of Marxist and Anarchist academics. The silencing of racial discrimination complaints by Unions filled with people who want to be the boss. As most academic unions– comprised as they are of graduate students– membership is seen as transitory. As grad students become professors, they join another more senior advocacy body, faculty associations. Teaching Assistantships and Course Directorships are replaced by contractually limited appointments (if you’re lucky) and the right to join Professors’ Unions.

Well, the race card has been played ever since race has been a central organizing force in savagely brutal Euopean centered modes of production from mercantile/slaveholding/trading /breeding capitalism. These modes of thinking about physical differences in peoples, were engineered to reduce the humanity of kidnapped, bought, and sold labour. If Black signifies “not human”, then the social whole benefits from, and is immured in, this characterization’s cosmological apartheid.

We play the hand we’re dealt, in the skin we’re in, with the consciousness we develop as our circumstances dictate. My poem is a dirge for THIS white world which nullifies our core–our humanity and personhood. Let me know if this poem touched you at all in light of the recent events of the last year!

Montreal Gazette, September 2020, Justice for Joyce Echaquan

Fuck this white world

and the sun that shines out of its ass.

Fuck this white world

which brought us here to torture and to maim

our beautiful souls.

Fuck this white world 

which pits my brown brokenness 

against your black tear.

Fuck this white world

which pits your red blood against my yellow fear

Justice for Breonna, MerlinFoof, Reddit 2020

Fuck this white world

which rips out our veins

with its sterility and the burning plastic of 

restraints applied in the u.s.,

made in china.

Internet Poster, 2020

Fuck this white world

that holds us in its restraint.

demolishes our individuality

forces us to pay

over and over again

for the privilege of being human

2 thoughts on “I read the news today, oh boy…

  1. Only someone who holds racist views would unfriend over this. People working on deconstructing their internalized racism would understand and applaud this. And continue that work. Thanks for staying fierce (along with all your other shared and unshared qualities.

    Like

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