Not to toot my own horn
I know you like me.
You say it often enough
actually saying it
“you’re so pretty” and “where are you from originally?”
and compliment my accent (“It sounds British!”)
we sit down together and you regale me
with stories of “reverse racism” that you’ve gone through
wanting to make the point, without making the point
that you’ve suffered too…even though you could never tell your victims that
DWA, btw, I know. I know you like me.
Maybe you even love me.
But what is love?
I know that you feel like you can really “talk” to me
you haven’t hurt me – I was never yours to hurt
i don’t come to you with hundreds of years of you-caused pain
staring at you every time you dare to peek
into my lovely dark brown eyes:
you can admire my smooth skin and my refined ways
without guilt biting you on the shoulder
and you can even entertain
you could never talk about with my cousins
whom you and yours have hurt.
Dear White America
i do not claim to hate you
but I also do not sit here unaffected
simply because my legacy is different:
every time you treat me better than the ones “out there”
the ones who live on the other side of town
the ones who go to the other schools
the ones you lift the hem of your robes to avoid
you do it to me
andi know you don’t really love me
i know you don’t care even though you think you do
fori am no better than “them.”
How Dare You Treat Me Different From My Kin
because they are injured and i am not (that you can see)?
What you do not see
is that you deprived me of my family
and though i do not know of the whips and scourges
i know of the loneliness and loss
when children vanished and husbands were snatched
and wives were shipped off, like cattle, never to return.
Dear White America
I do not hate you
But I will no longer live within the lie
Of your false affection
Dorothy Mweusi* wrote this piece for Flux, a forum for those of us encountering adulthood.
*This piece was submitted anonymously