Collective Destiny: Poem by Dan Mahle

November 30 2014

Collective Destiny: Poem by Dan Mahle

I don’t know what it’s like to be anyone but me 
          But I can’t truly know myself until everyone is free

I didn’t build this culture of injustice and bigotry
          But I receive the benefits of systemic inequity

So many folks preach the post-racial philosophy
          When a post-racist world is really what we could be

I can’t blame anyone else for the truth I’m afraid to see
          That the prejudice within denies my own humanity

I know that what I fear in you, I also fear in me
          And it’s this fear that keeps us both locked in tyranny

When I turn a blind eye to the injustice in front of me
          Then I also hide the truth inside that I desperately seek

So if I strive for equal rights in solidarity
          Then I must first turn the light within and learn from what I see

And although it seems we live this life alone and separately
          I know our souls are bound in a collective destiny

I don’t know what it’s like to be anyone but me
          But I can’t truly know myself until everyone is free.

With fierce loving compassion,

Dan


Check out my other recent post: Confronting My Privilege: The Path to Radical Self-Awareness

And explore these other great resources:

1. Change From Within – Musings by Jamie Utt

2. White Like Me – A Film By Tim Wise

3. 12 Things White People Can Do Now Because Ferguson – by Janee Woods

(Title image by Steve Seeley)

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