Whiteness Undone

Whiteness is a power source

It’s a category we don’t choose but emerge into

A label that separates as it was designed to do

and blinds many of us to the harm it does.

What does it mean to unplug ourselves from whiteness?

Is it possible for each of us on our own to do this

or undo this as it were?

Seems either we assume whiteness is simply The Reality

or we fear losing Power if we turn away from its legacy.

What I wonder most is not so much

how we choose our way out of whiteness

It’s instead the why of it that worries me

Business as usual is a comfortable route

and keeps our focus narrow on the day to day

We need the bigger picture

the one that shows us that you can’t just be anti racist

you can’t just pretend that white supremacy doesn’t apply to you

you can’t think you way out of whiteness

It’s history that’s grounded you in this

and history that’s been rewritten to make you believe

you are who you think you are.

Who would you be if you were not white?

Perhaps you could be just this body that

descended from ancestors carrying their storied history,

born out of a lineage that survived and thrived

by helping each other along the way.

You can be one among a community of others.

It can be community that holds you to the task

that keeps the ground from caving in

that allows the spreading of new growth

coming into the spring of whiteness undone.

Imagine being held in such a community

and remember this

so you can recognize it when it happens.

1 Comment

Filed under Prose and Poetry

One Response to Whiteness Undone

  1. Elissa

    Thanks for writing this Carol! I have read it a few times now and I think I get it deeper each time. I am going to share it with Jennifer and a few others.

    I especially like the words you ended with.
    Much love,
    Elissa

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