I feel great trepidation posting this poem. It is not my intention to shame or accuse anyone just because they are white. This post is about how ashamed I feel. Most of the time, I am perceived as white, and my birth certificate indicates "Caucasian." The truth is much more complicated, but that’s a discussion for another time. The irony is that this is a poem where I state that my white privilege means it’s time for me to shut up, listen, and let black people speak and lead. Yet, here I am posting my white woman poem. I am trying to be the best ally I can. I’ve found some resources to help me with this. Here are a few: https://www.greatbigstory.com/guides/how-to-become-a-better-black-lives-matter-ally and http://www.scn.org/friends/ally.html and https://reflections.yale.edu/article/future-race/becoming-trustworthy-white-allies
Lana Hechtman Disappear This White Woman’s Ink, Burn This Poem A white woman’s pen means nothing. Even when she means to write as ally, she betrays otherwise, saying stupid shit about a best friend or a maid who helped raise her. Too bad her ink isn’t white, invisible as her skin is to the police. Let her ink leak, sink a pool of black onto the page so that it no longer reflects her privileged face. When she stares into the depths of inequality, and says she cares, still, all she sees is color. Let the white woman’s thoughts be unknown, let her action show her true feelings. If she’s really an ally, racism, injustice, civil unrest will force her to do her best, attend the protests holding signs inked with a black person’s words instead of her own. Let her body be one in a crowd, where instead of proud, she’s ashamed of her skin, the violence and sin it has always represented in America. Let her return from the rally and burn her diaries, her poems, all her writings. Let her instead be led by voices of the disempowered, with their history of malicious slaughter so red it’s black. Let this white woman’s pen no longer be a weapon, intentional or inadvertent. Let my pen become a window cleared of my well-meaning ink, so that I may look though and see the truth as it’s always been— my voice is nothing but more injustice, more drops in a pool of black blood so dark, so wide, so oft renewed, it never dries.