Boats to Tarshish

If you dwell on other people’s faultsFor long enoughIt gets easierTo handle them with an iron claw,To wish for their punishmentMore than their redemption,To hold them to a stricter standardThan you could ever bear,To magnify their failures’Til they blot out the sun.Boats to TarshishWill always be available:An opportunity for offence to grow legsAnd for hateful […]

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Unbuckling whiteness

Is tricky business.Because it takes a whileTo recognize the thingsThat you always considered ‘normal’To really just be white.Unlearning a strange form of self-policingThat finds many of the non-whiteThings about yourselfSomehow problematic.And doing all thisWithout hating yourselfOr your white neighbour,Because loving bothIsn’t always easy.Unbuckling whitenessIs not about resentmentOr censureBut about coming to rest comfortablyIn a non-white […]

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Wrong Signal

Being a black bodyIn places of affluenceAnd convenienceDemandsThat one presents oneselfIn distinctive ways-Distinct from the riff-raffAnd the common criminalLest you find yourselfOn the wrong end ofPetty justice.To give off the wrong signal-A sweaty browAn ill fitting shirtLeisurely walking in a mallwithout a strongAn agenda-All these seemingly innocent thingsCan turn the most mundane of tasksInto a […]

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In love with the roar

There’s a cheap kind of progressThat’s the equivalent ofWanting a pet lionThat can only roarBut never bite.Its one thing to say all the right thingsWhen it comes to diversity and inclusionAnd quite another to actuallyAccept that the world is complexAnd that your simplified wayOf moving through itWon’t cut it anymore.Real change is often inconvenient,And inertia […]

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People are going to misunderstand you

And maybe its okayTo expect this.To not be offendedWhen they mispronounce your nameOr assume you like mayonnaiseAnd that its really notThe end of the worldIf they don’t like you.People will misundertand youBecause they don’t live in your worldThey have not tasted your painDrank of your joyNor heard your doubts constantly whirringIn the background.So what to […]

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On ‘acting white’

In many African languagesThe word for ‘white’Is often the same word usedColloquilly for ‘better’Or ‘superior’ or even‘Learned’.ChirunguSegoaIt is no wonder thenThat it seems that whenYou are in some postion ofGood fortuneHave good tasteProvide a quality serviceOr have some advantageThat has come your wayThen you can be said to ‘acting white’.Being good at something doesn’t mean‘Acting […]

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Thorns in the flesh

Accountability, done right,Hurts.People that have the courageTo call things outAre often portrayed as being So unnecessarySo contrarianSo unwilling to just let things beAnd let ‘our way of life’Go on.And yet there is nothing more constantTo mankind than change.And it is unlikely that change will happenWithout frictionWithout uncomfortable conversationsWithout pushing back on thingsWe’ve let ourselves overlook.The […]

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I don’t see colour

Is a way of hiding. How can you not see it? I don’t see how God could create so much diversity Only for us to close our eyes to it? If we are all made in the image of God, Yet we are not all alike It means we are several manifestations From a single […]

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The actual fight

The actual fight against racism Is not to get other people to accept us, Because that’s an approach steeped in insecurity And plays on a never ending struggle to seek the approval of others. No, the fight against racism is about justice. Not simply because we feel victimized And not because we feel guilty. But because […]

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Second opinion

Getting another perspective Is not an indication that you don’t trust your own But that you appreciate the benefit of another set of eyes and ears Looking at something that’s not so obvious to see And listening in on a conversation that we could have misunderstood. It becomes tricky when we believe that we that […]

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