Beneath the Wounder’s Knee

I do not claim to know what you’ve been through —
Nothing in my white-woman-privileged life
Can understand
What it is to be segregated, separated,
Shoved aside or hung from trees.
Some Americans will tell you
“We’ve come so far with racism.”
(usually white people)
“But we had a President
who was African American!” they say.
Yes, and those who hated that
Certainly have made up for it.
I’m angry and ashamed
And will do whatever I can
to come against my own racism,
The tendency to push away
or run away
From anyone different from me.
Because it comes in all colors
and types, doesn’t it — Racism?
It comes from being white
fairly healthy, not too old
and not too poor.
I don’t understand those
who are not just like me.
I’m sorry.
Not for who I am or what I have
But for my history of ignorance
Apathy.
I don’t ask your forgiveness.
You’ve had enough apologies,
And talk of changing policies.
Too many hearts have not been changed.
Has mine?

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