"Dear white people" - a poem by Ariana Kerman


Illustration by @WHEREARETHEGRAPHICS

THEBIGGERPICTURE (London) — In the wake of the tragic murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at the hand of a white police officer, tributes have emerged around the world for Floyd, 46. The murder is the latest in a long string of incidents of police brutality in the United States perpetrated by white cops to prompt debate in America about its reluctance to let go of the ghosts of its racist past. Millions have signed petitions calling for the prosecution of the officers responsible for what many say is a racist hate crime, and demonstrations in support of Floyd have rocked Minneapolis in the past few days. It has also prompted many white people to examine their own privilege, both in America and abroad. London-based student Ariana Kerman wrote a poem, "Dear White People", a message for white people unaware of that privilege and both the subtle and not-so-subtle racist power structures in society today. Read the full poem below.


"Dear White People" by Ariana Kerman


Dear white mum

Dear white dad

Dear white friend

Dear white neighbour

Dear white policeman

Dear white principal

Dear white Prime Minister

Dear white me

It’s crazy hearing about the news at the moment, isn’t it?

Do you feel guilty?

That your skin colour is associated with these murders? Do you feel empathy?

For the black man chocked to death?

Did you sit around your kitchen table and discuss how horrible and awful the news was this morning?

Did you try to remember the name George Floyd so you ‘know your stuff’?

Because I did.

I thought in my head

“I can’t imagine what it must be like for his

Family, friends, and community”.

Then I realised how stupid that was

Because how could we ever fucking imagine?

We have no black family to feel it for.

You know what else I can never imagine?

Waking up, looking at my skin, and feeling fear

That if I lived somewhere else in the world, I could be killed

For going on a jog.

Dear white people

Please be careful what you say

Because we will never be able to feel what all

The black people are feeling at the moment

How could we?

Please be kind, humble, accept your fucked-up privilege

Dear white people,

It’s 2020

Please step away from the seven white policemen that killed George Floyd

The millions of white people who fucked over so many non-white people

You don’t have to feel guilty

Just don’t be complicit in the continuation of it.

Thank you.


Follow Ariana Kerman on Instagram @arianakermanx and Vania Prananto, who created the graphic at the header of this piece, @WHEREARETHEGRAPHICS.