In my whiteness.

I have struggled

To piece my words together,

To string the broken parts

Of my conscious

Into a coherent thought.

I don’t know

what to say,

and I don’t have the words

to say

what I don’t know how

to say.

But no matter

The words I do try

The ways I do phrase

The perspectives I do take

— I just don’t know what to say.

But I know I need to say something.

In my whiteness,

I don’t know what to say.

I don’t know what I can say.

Does my whiteness limit my grief?

Can I hurt for the good police officers

And my POC brothers and sisters

At the same time?

In my whiteness

I only know my whiteness.

I only know my experience

And I only know the things

I’ve been able to do

And the things I don’t

Have to worry about or fear.

And it breaks my heart

That whiteness blinds

To others’ pain.

In my whiteness

I can see

and hear

people asking to be heard

in ways that get attention

because all other attempts have

not been listened to.

In my whiteness

I find that this is not

a political issues.

This is a human issue.

And it burns my soul

that people-

other Christians-

do not see it as such.

It burns my soul

that other Christians

minimize the pain

because they don’t agree with

the way the conversation

is being structured.

In my whiteness

I know this

isn’t about me

and that my voice needs to be small.

But is it okay

that I want those hurting

to know that I am here?

How do I let those hurting

know that

I am here?

I do not agree

with the riots,

but I also know

they are not always triggered

by the protesters.

I do not agree

with police forcing people into

their homes

for curfew,

but I can surmise

that this may be in response to

trying to control fear.

There are areas around the country

right now

where the police

are marching with the

protesters

and there are areas

where this is not the case.

Fighting

or controlling through force

further separates the divide

between those hurting

and the police.

I do not trust the news,

and my heart is so heavy.

There is no break

in the badness.

And yet,

perhaps,

I’m becoming more aware

to the everyday experiences

that I never have to worry about.

This heartbreak sits

like heartburn.

Painful.

Constant.

It gnaws at me,

scraping at my insides.

Maybe I’m learning

what it is to not

be white.

Perhaps this is badly timed,

and I raise my banner of injustice high

for you,

but I am not unaware to the pattern

of timings

that happen right before

an election.

As much as my soul is screaming

for this injustice,

it further screams

to stop using the deaths

of innocent people

murdered by police

to support a political gain.

That is gross,

and shame,

shame

on politicians who think that

is a good look.

Stop using

police brutality

and racial injustices

to garner favor

to win an election.

In my whiteness,

I am drawn

to the soul,

the rhythm,

the heartbeat,

of those not like me.

My world and life

are enriched by the

stories,

art,

music,

experiences

of those who share

these things

— and who are not like me.

It is by learning

and listening

to others

who are not like me

that I learn more about me

and the shared collective of the

human experience.

I learn more about life.

To sit

on a singular stool

at the Civil Rights Museum

in Atlanta,

at an exhibit designed to offer

the experience of a sit-in —

To read

Roll of Thunder Hear my Cry

in elementary school,

and to read

and learn

of lynching —

To learn

that scriptures of

the Holy Bible

were used to support

encourage

and condone

slavery

and segregation —

The world has been a mean

vicious place

to those

just trying to find

their equality.

And I,

in my whiteness,

am so so sorry.

And I know

that’s not enough.

I am a sheep

in the herd

shepherded by the Shepard,

and I know He is going

after the one that is lost.

And as much as I

may apply this to me

in my private worship,

this is no longer

about me.

I’m tired of hearing

from other white people

what I can do to help.

Much like my voice

they need to be small.

Please tell me

how I can help.

Tell me

how I can help

to bridge the gap between

my –ness

and

your –ness.

In my whiteness,

I am sorry,

though I know that

that

is not enough.

I am devastated

with you.

I am disgusted

with you.

I am angry

with you.

 

In my whiteness,

I see your identity.

 

I don’t know

what life is like

for you.

 

Please teach me.

 

I want to learn.

 

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