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,
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.