White liberal antics: part 1

by Israel Haros Lopez

them post-neo-hyper-intelligent white saviors
sometimes come with extra treats
for us brown folks, us red folks, us black folks
us non-binary folks, us queer folks
us folks

they come with a hidden white supremacy agenda
unbeknownst to them. because they are white liberals
claiming something different and sometimes


impose the same hidden toxicity
but it comes in the form of calling themselves
allies, bridge makers, anti-fascists
re-imposing all the isms in ways too tricky to name


but us folks walk away with sick feelings
in our stomachs, in our chests, in our minds
wishing we could have that time back
that so-called anti-oppression movement
so-called anti-oppression march or event or organization
that ends up feeling to us folks
just like the very thing they said they were against
and it’s hyperized
hypersensitive hyperintelligent hyperfragile
hypertoxic that us folks get silenced
in very tricky ways

us folks try to name it
and get called antagonistic bitter non-builders
but it’s that anti-fascist talk that starts feeling fascist
to us. that anti-oppression feeling oppressive to us
and them post-neo white saviors
feel good about themselves, about what they posted
about what they said and us folks get left
holding all the baggage, all the things still needing healing
still spinning thinking something went wrong there


us folks try to name it
and it gets tricky
cuz it’s hyper-slick oppression
hyperintelligent hyperfragile
slickness sickness
that’s hard to name
hard to call out
but us folks feel it all the time
stuck with our throats clogged
with a new flavor of oppression
spinning wanting to scream
but too exhausted from the experience
to even say a single word

left feeling unsafe

and mindless
with pounding headaches
with every minute of our speeches,
our lecture notes, our poems,
our presentations looked over
to make sure our grammar
isn’t too wild, too non-conformist,
too queer, too brown, too confrontational,
too inappropriate, too native, too too too p.o.c.,
too black, too anti-nazi,
too anti-non-profit industrial complex, too too

too much, too soon, too fast, too now, too too
they’re not ready to hear the truth we’ve been
living in our minds, in our bodies, in our lands

us folks get left
holding all them
neo-white savior non-complex complexities
of oppression

us folks need that to stop now
us folks don’t want to explain this anymore
we need you folks to get it
cuz us folks are sick and tired of this sick and tired
cuz this damages us more than any kkk every could
cuz it’s slithering in every corner of our beings
these are the ones we see abusing power
in our offices, in our lecture halls,
in our non-profits, in our institutions, in line at the bank,
at the trader joe’s and the libraries
harboring something else
that gets stuck in our bodies
that self-righteous white liberal acting
like this doesn’t apply to you