When White Is Not Enough

Deposed, despaired, depressed, despondent
dejected, the doom is the off-white of white.
But wait, off-white can't know what white feels.
Where's the life in that? Where's the right in that?
Where's the white in that?

At the bone of white breathes the fear of seeing,
the frustration of being unequal to white.
White-male portraits on white walls intended to mean ownership of all,
the privilege of all.
even as white walls white in.

And this is understandable, yes,
understandable because the culture claims white
owns everything--the wealth of no one anyone knows.
Still, the equation holds--jobs and health and schools are better
and different and enough and always and eventually mine.

This is what it means to wear a color and believe
the embrace of its touch. What white long expected
Was to work itself into an upwardly mobile fit.
In the old days, white included a life, even without luck
or chance of birth. The scaffolding had rungs
and legacy and the myth of meritocracy fixed in white.

Now white can't hold itself distant from the day's touch
even as the touch holds so little white would own
foreclosure, vanished pensions, school systems
in disrepair, free trade, rising unemployment, unpaid
medical bills, school debt, car debt, debt debt debt.

White is living its brick and mortar loss,
staving off more loss, exhaustion, aggrieved
exposing a pale heart even as in dealing
white hardens its features. Eyes, which hold all
the light, harden. Jaws which close down on nothing,
and built, harden into a fury that cannot call

Though it's not untrue jobs were
outsourced and it's not untrue an economic base
was cut out from under. It's not untrue.

If people could come clean about their pain,
the being at a loss when just being white
is not working. Who said there is no hierarchy
inside white walls?

Who implied white owns
everything even as it owns nothing? But white
can't strike its own structure. White can't oust
its own system. All the loss is nothing
next to any other who can be thrown out.

In daylight this right to righteous rage doubles
down the supremacy of white in this way.

Poetry by Ashe The PoetBay support member heart!
Read 279 times
Written on 2017-12-13 at 16:31

dott Save as a bookmark (requires login)
dott Write a comment (requires login)
dott Send as email
dott Print text

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
I missed this one. powerful and so well written. Who suffers more, those you had everything and lost it, or those who never had it?

Good write, Ashe. I'm white, but it never did me any
good. The harassers always got their way. Some world.

ken d williams The PoetBay support member heart!
I'am an albino
My eyes a kind brown-greeney
I'm BAGIGE! I am!
In my D N A - lays - D N A - of the world!
I am a PART of you - as YOUR are a part of ME!

A very thoughtful musing well written and to make a very relevant point.

I am currently reading "Guns, Germs &Steel" by Jared Diamond. A book very much on the topic of White Race dominance. He puts across his (and others) arguments as to why this has happened. I am not totally sold on the ideas presented but just like your text, it does make me look for answers as to the why's and How's.

Thanks for sharing

one trick pony The PoetBay support member heart!
In a way you've written the history of Western Culture. White becomes black in this context (the context of the poem).

It's beyond discouraging, even with last night results, how easy it is to negate years, decades, of progress.

White. You said a lot. This deserves to be read thoughtfully.