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11.21.2016

Some of My Best Friends Are White

A Poem by Beau Sia, Banned From Facebook



The following poem was originally written by Beau Sia and posted to Facebook on July 6. Last week, given the state of things, Beau thought it would be appropriate to re-post it. But not long after posting it, Facebook took it down because the poem offended someone's sensibilities. Somebody apparently reported it, though nobody bothered to inform Beau why or how the piece was so unfit for Facebook. It was just reported and yanked.

So Beau posted it again. Within a day, not only was the poem flagged for removal again, but Beau was blocked from Facebook for a period of 24 hours, along with the warning that he could be blocked permanently if continued to violate "community standards." So Beau posted it again. But this time, he had the support of a community of Facebook friends who also started sharing the poem widely.

Because censorship sucks, and dammit, we need some poetry right now. And so, I share it with you.


SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE WHITE

you're not responsible for the other white people.

i see you sharing

black lives matter! dope post!

i see you marching

on instagram! dope post!

i see you donating

to THE cause. dope post!

your cousin in mountain view,

your best friend from college,

your aunt on your dad's side.

NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!

what his fascination with asian bodies got to do with you???

what her view on black men in the club got to do with you???

what auntie say about towelheads got to do with you???

you got bills, career instability, failed romance, a painful relationship with your father, global fear, comparison judgment, and the new season of favorite tv show on your plate,

what more can be asked of you?

you already have a puerto rican friend,

you already teach kids who's future assignment is prison,

you already passed 2010's ally exam.

i get it. there's just not enough time for anything more.

besides,

it's not your responsibility.

and anyway, we know how hard you try.

we're all trying so hard, i know.

we are all frauds & failures & fucking wack

in the eyes of those who condemn us

to the color of our skin.

we let ourselves be agents of hate,

as if the power of our silence at thanksgiving,

in the boardroom,

amongst shared ethnic background,

will evolve from within

what silence has yet to evolve

in anything.

II.

i thought i could click like my way to evolution.

i thought revolution was proven on the internet.

i thought my face excused me from others' struggle.

i thought example would magically transform all i touched.

i thought writing the poem was the most i needed to do.

i thought all the world's problems separated by borders.

i thought responsibility was only what i did for myself.

you are not responsible for

the other asian people.

the aunt who still clutches her purse to acknowledge black.

the best friend from college whose best friends are now all white.

the cousin fucking his hate into the poorest nations on earth.

you are not responsible for

the other asian people.

you can talk your way out of any wrongdoing.

you can make believers out of anyone.

you can present like corporate long game.

you are only responsible

for who you are.

III.

you're not a coward.

you been living

in a reward system

that erases

us all.

when we gonna challenge the roles we been assigned?

when we gonna challenge the comfort of our peers?

when we gonna challenge the traditions of our past?

when we gonna challenge the way our daily ignores color?

when we gonna challenge the narratives of war?

when we gonna challenge the truth of ongoing slavery?

when we gonna challenge the fear of facing our own hate?

when we gonna challenge the people against humanity?

when we gonna challenge the 8 men who rule over everyone?

when we gonna challenge the how that keeps failing truth?

when we gonna challenge the world made by our choices?

don't worry,

making buzzfeed rich

is probably enough.

don't worry,

becoming my friend

is probably enough.

don't worry,

sharing this

is probably enough.

i mean,

what else can you do?

you're not responsible

for the other white people.

you're only responsible

for who you are.

and who knows

where you at

in understanding

that truth.

and who knows

whether this is something

you listen to

or become

defensive about.

and who knows

their responsibility

waking

into the reality

we've lived

the shared lie

that

we only have

as much power as

the masters give us.

you're not responsible

for the other white people.

keep saying it

until all the mirrors die.

until there’s nothing left

of us.

- Beau Sia