What it feels like to be your victim

Posted on Posted in communication, community development, culture, poverty, the meaning of life, update

This is a poem i often use as I assist volunteers to prepare for work and life overseas. Consider the words. They are incredibly important:

Great White Mother

You, great white mother,
take beggar-African-Indian children;
You who feel so much for yourself and your world
will reach out to touch them and save them!?

You, great white mother,
and your mate, the great white father,
working ceaselessly in your own ways
to save and to touch us all;

He bombs us
in Lebanon and Libya,
massacres us
in Central America and Abyssinia,
starves and mutilates us
wherever he finds us,

while you pour out your sick, guilt-ridden love
over our tired and broken bodies
the spirit in us chokes — and suffocates — and is

What your mate, the great white father,
could not accomplish
with all his bombs and armies and churches,
you, great white mother,
will have accomplished
with your charity and goodness-filled heart.

He would break our spirit
and disempower us with his might;
You would break our spirit
and disempower us with your love.

So you, great white mother,
who give birth to dead children,
massacring their humanity in your womb
and in their childhood
by silent compliance with the great white father,
will love and touch us?

You, who cannot respond
to your poor-jobless-starving-homeless-battered-heatless
white sisters–will love and touch us?

Do you not see
that we are still burning from your touch?
That my sisters are being butchered and sterilized
while you are having fantasies
about birthing like women do in Africa?

That our children are poisoned by the drugs and pollution
your mate dumps onto us,
while you sit dreaming of poisoning their humanity
with your lily-white love?

Your New-Age missionaries
to replace
the great white fathers’ old church missionaries,
all attempting
to dehumanize us,
deny us our rage,
our hatred,
our strength,
our right to liberate our humanity?

And you, great white mother,
do all this in the name of love.
Yet, we both know that your existence depends on us!

You cannot play
the saviour,
benefactor, civilizer,
pure-white, charitable, loving, forgiving,
noble, highly-evolved, good mother
unless you make us become
poor-starving-sick-beggar-African-Indian children.

Well, great white mother,
you just try to touch me or my children …
You just try to love us into your salvation!
From your nice white position,
high up there,
above the rest of us;
You just try–and I will smash you!

Sunera Thobani
Editor/Publisher of Aku, magazine for forum on East Indian views in Asian immigrant community, Vancouver. The Brown Bagger Vancouver Cooperative Radio, May 10,1991

Would you like to be the victim in someone else’s story?

Mark Crocker

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