My Dear Friend. LW
8th October 2020
Hi. We have a guest blogger this week. In her words, it’s a poem written out of frustration. A question asked if conversations about race, between friends, should ever be this hard.
My Dear Friend, this is new
Must be a first?
A conversation we can’t have,
Between me and you.
I’m confused even more
As if 2020 hasn’t brought enough,
Are we really at a point,
Where we are questioning us?
You ask me about BLM
To what seems like your support,
Until I say something challenging,
Your narrow train of thought.
My Dear Friend, Black Lives Matter because…
“No!” You shut me up
“All Lives Matter!” you say,
I say, enough is enough.
Wow! I ask myself
Is this really you?
But the look upon your face is saying,
No, it’s not me, it’s you.
Ahh, so here we have it
I’m the problem now,
Because you’re not willing to understand,
The who’s, the why’s, the how’s.
Had you have given me a minute
To explain a little more,
I could have shared with you why,
For me and many others, this is still very raw.
“But slavery ended years ago”
“And there were white slaves too y’know!?”
Yes, but there are things today,
That you’re appearing to downplay…
“You’re making a big deal; my other black friends say so”
“And may I just say, it goes both ways y’know?!”
Oh really? Tell me more,
I’m happy to listen, I implore.
My Dear Friend, this is more than just opinion
This! Is what gets us nowhere,
It is exhausting,
This! is what causes division.
Why does it make you so uncomfortable?
It’s just another conversation,
Between friends, no pointing fingers,
Or words of indignation.
“But if we stop banging on about it, Racism will disappear”
“I’m sure you will agree, it’s just not that bad here”
I am telling you it is,
“Oh please, you’re just making a fuss”
“It’s just a faze, let it go”
If I had made more of a fuss these years,
I’m convinced, there would be no us.
This is my frustration
I’m not angry, vexed, or irate,
But for eff-sake, won’t you listen to me,
I thought you were my mate?!
“See, I told you, you’re angry”
“And my patience is wearing thin”
I’m sorry, is it my words,
Or my brown, mixed heritage skin?
“I just don’t see you like that”
“I just don’t see colour”
Then here we have a problem,
If we’re not seeing each other.
“Why can’t we all just get along?”
“What exactly have I done wrong?”
I haven’t said you have, have I?
Now you seem upset, why?
My Dear Friend, we’re not getting very far
It was just a conversation,
I’m not asking you to make a sign,
And rally across the nation.
“You’re making me uncomfortable”
“Can we change the subject now?”
Urgh! I guess I should just shut up,
Before we get into a row.
If only they could see how they are part of this solution,
Just by simply listening,
This isn’t about substitution.
Institutionalized and systemic racism,
Is embedded within this unrest,
But refusing to listen,
Is something I am starting to detest.
My Dear Friend, Is it time to turn the page?
Why won’t you listen?
It’s really simple,
Y’know, just engage.