a white man cannot have rage

by House Phillips

a white man cannot have rage
& little boys need to act their age
meanwhile i’m about to steal another page
from another book i couldn’t afford off minimum wage

i could spend two hundred years walkin’ across this whole land
& there’s still some things i would never understand
like how can two men, one black & one white
be treated so differently, day & night
we got one scrubbing floors or else behind bars
& the other one we put inside luxury cars
take a guess which is which, who you thought was who?
next question: what are we as a people gon’ do
cause i’ve seen pictures of the black man hanging in the wind swaying
beside a little white girl dressed in her sunday best, playing
& when on that i think
inside i shrink
like a penis in cold water
that coulda been my father that committed that slaughter
i can’t fathom what would make them gather to lynch
i wanna stand against that like atticus finch
cause even tho i was born with white skin
i’ve always felt like an outsider, lookin’ in
through a peephole
like where’s my people?
i don’t resemble that
i can’t relate
to these motherfuckers filled with so much hate
& that’s a legacy that i refuse to inherit
if there’s a burden i’ll share it
help to carry it but i will not just grin & bury it
i can accept some losses
but i do not accept the white sheets & burning crosses
i do not accept the orders from the bosses
the good ol’ boys club sittin’ high on their horses
despite all forces, make my own choices
& i’mma always do my best to be open to all voices
& it might not always be possible
but i’mma have more patience than a third world hospital
& maybe in that way i’mma grow to be
the person that i most wanna be
& eventually see the change that i most wanna see

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