I Wish I Were White

If I were white, I could’ve been Jesus in the passion.
No, he wasn’t white, the church reluctantly admits, but
Chad, the varsity quarterback who scored
four touchdowns in one game, makes such a great Son of God!
Brittany, his cheerleader girlfriend and pastor’s daughter,
is already Mary, his mom. Why break such great chemistry
and cause strife among the elders just to make
a political point about an ethnic Jesus?

The college pastor/eHarmony matchmaker
might have tried to set me up with the girl I loved
rather than the only other brown one in the ministry.
Did he not notice how devotedly I followed her,
or was the idea of us together inconceivable?
She would’ve still said no when I asked her out,
but rejection would’ve arrived before the date rather than after
she realized the feelings I expressed to her weren’t just a joke,
and I wouldn’t have spent an entire week preparing
for a chance I never had—not even one in a million.

If I were white, it wouldn’t be so ironic
when white social justice warriors tell me to check my white privilege
because I dared disagree with them on what it means to be different.
I would be their equal rather than their damsel in distress
who congratulates them with cake for defending me against myself.
They wouldn’t call me self-hating because I dislike mariachi music
and never learned Spanish. I chose to follow the goth girl to French instead.
I’d have followed her into the crowd, but black and white clashed with me.
So did the Hispanic and Asian crowds.
I just sat on a bench and watched the goths from afar as I listened
to Morrissey on my smuggled-in Discman.

If I were white, nobody would ask me whether or not the white boy
I take the park is my son; it would never happen.
Nobody would ask me where I was from.
Nobody would respond, “I mean before California,”
when I answered.

If I were white, I could choose my own class.
I’d be the default character: a clean slate, perfectly average
with limitless potential. I would be the human,
not the elf who only works well with magics
or the dwarf who’d better be a tank if he wants to be useful.
I could be a paladin, wizard, or ranger.
I could be a dashing rogue and not just a thug.
I could even be a ninja, because some ninjas are white,
but a ninja of Hispanic or Southeast Asian origins? Inconceivable.
I could be just American. I could be the everyman,
the star of every video game and movie, the god of every religion.
I could be Jesus transfigured, shining in white.

Racism Is Dead

Day 5 of the 2012 April PAD Challenge on WritersDigest.com.

“Racism is dead,” Stern said.
His African American
DJ mutters a yeah
as Stern connects with her people
like only a wealthy, white man can.

The problem today is now class–
never mind the trough is black.
If anything, whites suffer more
these days. They can’t say nigger,
they can’t make racist jokes
(but comics diss whites all the time!)
and a white friend of a friend
lost his job to a black
under-qualified, lazy bum.

I’d call to correct his claim
but my urban accent reeks
of ignorance no Master can dispel.
Doesn’t help I dress like a thug
in loose-fit jeans and Giants jersey.
Am I justified to complain
when white women cross the street
to avoid crossing me
or protest arrest for breaking in
to my own home when I sound
and look so suspicious?

White Acropolis: Suburban War

This is my entry for Day 2 of the 2012 April PAD Challenge on WritersDigest.com. The prompt is to write about a visitor.

Immaculate streets become battlefields
as patriots fight–stand their ground against
black-clad invaders armed with sweet arsenal
and white earbuds. The chaos ensues–shortcuts
across trimmed lawns, jaywalking silent streets,
humming to music downloaded for free.
No bleach can wash away the stains they leave
on virgin property fairly bequeathed
by the old natives. Canaanites cannot
reclaim what God has gave. To coexist
is cowardice. One must either flee night
approaching like mice in race with black cats
or fight to live in property free
of devaluing blemishes. The jackals
can go away–with Christ–back to the slums
or they can stay in coffins underneath.