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I Apologize For My Race

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I am white.
I apologize for my race.

While black people shed tears
And fear for the ones they hold dear
White people will brag
They think they’ve done their part because they tweeted the hashtag.
Because to them it is a fad
A trend, that for them, will end by the weekend.

I am white.
I apologize for my race.
I’d like to take a moment and let silence fill the space.

For us to remember the unarmed black men
Who far too soon met their end at the hands of policewomen and men.
Michael Brown, Dontre Hamilton, Tamir Rice, Keith Childress, Leroy Browning, Roy Nelson, Philando Castile, John Crawford III, Ezell Ford, Dante Parker, Akai Gurley …
I could go on and on apologizing for my race
Until I am blue in the face
Like Eric Garner was when he cried
Not once. Not twice. Not three times.
But eleven times!
He cried for his life
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”
“I can’t breathe!”

I am white.
I apologize for my race.
And while other members of my race
Will go and victim blame
We will stay here and say her name
Sandra Bland, Tanisha Anderson, Yvette Smith, Miriam Corey, Darnisha Harris, Shelly Frey, Natasha McKenna, Jonisha Fonville, Shantel Davis, Malissa Williams, Alesia Thomas …
Stop the victim blame.
And say their names.

I am white.
I apologize for my race.
And I know that because of my race
I will never need to fear
That I will hear
The sound of an officer’s gun pointed at me
Solely due to the color that they see
Of the skin that covers me.

I know that because of my race
I will never have to face
An officer profile me
Due to the color that they see
Of the skin that covers me.
I can walk down the street
Worry-free
That I will be stopped by an officer
Because my profile seems “suspicious” to him or her.

I know that because of my race
I would be less likely to face
A longer, harsher prison sentence
As the court system would be more likely to believe in my repentance.
Despite being a part of the largest racial group in the USA
As a white woman I’d be a small minority in the prison system today.

We wonder what could be the cause of the racial inequity?
Yet we are so quick to excuse systematic racism and police brutality.
I know that because I am white
I benefit from the privilege of a biased system
But I will continue to fight
Provide my assistance to help fix this broken system.