Victimized at the Top of Her Lungs

So now I’m just
reduced to my parts,
a member of several groups
that have somehow
held her down
all her life.

And I have to
accept her feelings
as facts,
or else I’m
being dishonest.
So of course
white men
have all the power,
and the reason she’s
crying all the time
is a system
that’s held her down.

And black people
who get corporate jobs
really are
“acting white,”
which must raise the question
of what “acting black” is,
but may Satan’s cloven hooves
visit my front porch
for thinking I have the right
to ask that.

And all I can think
is that I’ve lost
a great friend
because of what I am,
which would be
prejudice
if she had any kind
of power,
or so I’m told.

I wish life had worked out
so she could be happy
and not need outside scapegoats
to blame for her sadness.
For all the
difficult nuance
of life in America,
you can still
only be a victim
when you choose.

And she will color me
as a member of the
ruling class
who doesn’t like
having his
authority questioned,
but I’m really just
a confused friend.

-GD Butler

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