today, i am a black woman in a body of coal
i am always burning and no one knows my name
i am a nameless fury, i am a blues scratched from
the throat of ms. nina—i am always angry
i am always a bumble hive of hello
i love like this too loudly, my neighbors
think i am an unforgiving bitter
sometimes, i think my neighbors are right
most times i think my neighbors are nosey
From 'litany' by Mahogany L. Browne
During my vacation in the U.S. (which: awesome!) something happened in Holland.* A semi-wellknown (former) tv personality joined a political party. A rather insignificant party, to be honest. They're what we call a 'splinter party' (US folks, just imagine that every Republican that disagrees with another Republican breaks off to form their own party. That's our political landscape). Now I don't know this party very well but from what I do know I'm not too keen on them. Then again, if I have to get worked up over everyone supporting a party I don't like... I'd never get anything done.
So, someone joined a party. No big deal, right? Wrong.
Because as it happens, this tv personality is a black woman. With an opinion. And some people just go bat-shit crazy over that.
They started a Facebook event. A 'wave goodbye' and kick her out of the country event. And, to prevent you from ignorantly thinking this was a bad-tasted joke, they added a poll. Where you could choose how you preferred to kick her out. One of the options name-drops the KKK.
I am ashamed to write this down.
And I am even more ashamed that these people, these blatantly racist people get angry if you call them racists. Offended, even. At least the old-time racists they so love owned up to what they were.
But enough about them. I decided to post this poem because I feel 'minority' voices and opinions should be heard more often. Even if others don't agree with them. Especially if others don't agree with them.
And yes, this is a poem from an American poet and her situation is probably quite different than that of the Dutch tv-personality. And then again, maybe not that much. In Holland we think we're better than everybody else. Apparently some folks think that just because people don't get gunned down in the streets, we're not racist. But we're not there yet. Not nearly.
* Officially we're in The Netherlands but because of the pettiness involved, I prefer Holland, the country of small minds.
#thisweekinpoetry: Every week I look back at the past few days and try to find a poetic quote to match. Or maybe the other way around, I find good poetry and try to match the week with it. Whichever works.