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Big White Lies

Kari is mad as hell! Violence against BIPOC has survived too long. Justice is a human right.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - The Other America, 1967

Where once lived the American dream

Now lays the American lie.

Freedom and liberty for all?

Many Americans insist this exists,

But, they turn from the truth.

Liberty is given to the white

While BIPOC are just given the Li.

Justice is not equal,

The only blind eye she turns is for the rich.

The scales are tipped in white favor.

I know a little of the injustice,

(I am a woman, held back and held down.)

But, not the magnitude.

I taught my kids that the police

Is who you go to for help.

Never imagining the need

To teach extra manners

To avoid death through confrontation.

It is past time for talks

Used by old white men

to make themselves seem reasonable

The winter of delay must end.

Action is required and

we know it can be done.

But still old white men

Like Mitch McConnell

Hold us down.

We weary of asking.

The same thing was asked in the 1990s

When Rodney King was murdered.

In the 2000s many were murdered.

Some died using the same last words.

"I can't breathe."

We must see what is true,

No longer denying.

White people wake up!

We must stand united

with our human family.

Knowing we are all together

Not accepting the lie

All will magically be better.

We forget our own role.

Never trying to fix.

Always shoving band-aids on

And calling it done.

Old white men, trying

To gloss over the facts.

Giving excuses

and starting studies.

"It was unavoidable."

Murder!? Unavoidable!??

The old white men do not care.

We are just "human capital stock"

Our rulers are oblivious to

The normal American suffering.

How can they rule us without

Knowing the difficulties of life.

All the rich know is that

Homeless people are lazy

And unmotivated.

Mexicans are rapists and thieves.

Black people do not have

Enough brains to think logically.

They are only good for sports and war.

But these are American lies.

Big white lies that the rich

Tell their children

To perpetuate their rule.

Ohio by Neil Young

© 2020 Kari Poulsen


Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 20, 2020:

Dora, thank you! I agree this is an important subject. I keep telling people I know to read up on the phrase "systemic, institutionalized racism". Their attitudes change greatly after learning more.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 20, 2020:

Kari, I honor and applaud you for writing this poem. The more we expose the truth, the greater access we have to the minds of those who support dishonesty, prejudice and other vicious behaviors initiated by the privileged few. Your call to wake up needs to be heard. Good work!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 17, 2020:

Hi A B Williams, You may not know men who behave inappropriately, but there are many. I have met them continually in my life. It doesn't make me think they are evil, just ignorant. One of my "friends" was going to rape me one night until I convinced him it was a bad idea. He was considered a "really, nice guy".

I'm sorry for all the good men who are caught in this time. I read a very good article about why white men are angry. You can find it here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-histor...

Keep safe and healthy!

A B Williams from Central Florida on September 16, 2020:

Thank you Kari, I love your poetry as well.

They are definitely being knocked, called toxic, blamed for anything and everything....they've become the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong, or so it seems.

I can't speak for men, but if someone was spending all of their time calling me worthless, calling me toxic among other things, telling me that I am what's wrong with America... (that actually just happened to me, while my husband and I were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, maybe I will write about it)

I digress.

Sometimes, I think we expect too much out of mere mortals; white men, in particular. They are human just like everyone else, some are rich in character and some, not so much! Some step it up and some fall very short. But, isn't that all of us? Bad people come in all colors and in both sexes.

I am not sure why or when it was decided that all things bad would be pinned on the white man. White men ended slavery, at least, in this Country, they did. The debate of why it took so long will always exist, but the fact is, they ended it and I can't imagine {don't want too} what our lives would be like, if not for the U.S. Constitution limiting Government and putting us in control of our form of Government. White men did that.

Perspective! :)

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 16, 2020:

A B Williams, I, also, love your poetry! And, you being a conservative does not put me back a bit. My parents are conservative and I couldn't love them more.

I am very glad to know that you know many men who are exceptional. I, too, have loved and do love many exceptional men. I don’t think people are knocking white men as much as they are asking for help from them. Because if white men do not acknowledge and support the need for equality, we are all lost.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 16, 2020:

FlourishAnyway, (Have I told you lately how much I love your name!)

I agree, women's issues have been poo-pooed for too long. The issues women face are many of the same issues that BIPOC are plagued with. I was a single mother and I know firsthand how difficult it is. Childcare needs to be addressed if we need to get through this pandemic.

There is a lot of injustice alive and well in our systems. We have to stop saying it is not a problem. We each have to stand up for justice and peace.

I hope all is well in your world!

A B Williams from Central Florida on September 16, 2020:

I think it is all about perspective.

My initial comment was about judging the content of one's character, not the color of their skin.

I too have had my fill, but mine has come with the idea that it is okay to hate on the white race, in particular white men. My Dad is my hero and has always displayed the utmost in character. I remember him working three jobs at a time, still taking the time to come to my softball games, still taking the time to have my back when I was regularly in the Principal's office, for not backing down to bullies. I remember him helping people out, letting people stay with us until they could get their lives straightened out.

My Mom worked off and on. My Dad supported her decision, whatever she wanted to do, he supported!

My husband pretended he was 12 in order to get a paper route, in order to help out, in a household of 10. He started his own business at age 17. Every time there's a slow down in work, due to the economy or whatever, we'll keep employees working odd jobs, something to keep them working, keep them going. (I might add, we aren't making money during these times) The Lord has blessed us,the doors of our business are still open to this day.

These men and all of the men, in my life, are exceptional!

One of my first jobs was working in a law firm. Any time there was an after work party, get-together, I watched the married male attorneys hide in the corner, from the women at the law firm that were only looking to snag an Attorney-husband. They'd make an appearance, have a drink and duck out early ALONE...every time! They displayed great character. I was young, I was watching and it had an impact on me.

I've had people here at HP, love my poetry, but then they see or hear that I'm conservative and their perspective of me changes, without them knowing anything about me. It, apparently, automatically translates to racist in their minds, I suppose.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to go on for so long.

FlourishAnyway from USA on September 16, 2020:

There is a lot of injustice in today’s society, and a time of reckoning is due. Women’s issues have been overshadowed by other issues. There’s just too much injustice out there.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2020:

Eric, I know that tradition of women's disempowerment is still alive and well, but there are many more enlightened men than there used to be.

I think you do a great job raising children who can think for themselves. That is a skill they will never regret.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2020:

Linda, I agree we can solve this problem, just as we solved many in the past. But only if we work together. It seems to me that some white people do not understand that no-one is blaming them or calling them racist. Well, some are, but you can find a bad apple in many baskets. These issues have plagued America since just after the civil war. But, by doing nothing about this system of inequality, we are prolonging it. We are America, we can solve this through coming together.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

I am pleased you put this back up. You took your creative talent in order to bring attention to a social problem. I wonder what a higher calling would be :-)

My ten year old informed me "Dad I know you know this but women could not vote for a long time." We both just got wide eyed and said WOW! It gave me some pause. I wonder if some little boys are still raised thinking less of women than men.

When I told him that women and children were property of the man; "no way!" was the response.

My elder children are in their 30's and they are well aware of these issues and they continue to get blown away at some of the social injustice.

Linda Rogers from Minnesota on September 15, 2020:

We are truly at a time when we must do better. I live in a suburb close to Minneapolis where George Floyd died at the hands of the police. I have loved seeing all generations & differing ethnic backgrounds coming together in peace to fight for justice. I pray too that Trump is voted out as he has incited the hate speech, violence, racism and white supremacy. Thank you for writing how I feel these days. God Bless us all & I have hope we can make the changes needed for equality.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2020:

Thanks Eric!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2020:

Eric, thank you for your prompt reply. l do not support groups who support killing innocent people and depriving them of their livelihoods. Could you tell me more about this?

I know my wording about old, white men is divisive. And, I know not all old, white men are holding me down. I happen to love a great deal of old, white men. But, this is how I feel. That is why I wrote a poem.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 15, 2020:

I consider a call to hate a call to violence. I consider support of groups that lead to killing innocent people and destroying their livilihood violent. "All the rich know is that" "But these are American lies". "Big white lies that the rich tell their children"

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2020:

Eric, I knew someone would chide me on my generalizations, and they would be correct. Not all white men hold others down. But, speaking as a woman, you might be surprised. The constant little comments about little ladies, kitchens, sex, to name a few, are tiring and although I have come to accept it is going to happen, it exhausts me. I know not all men are like this, but in the "locker room", with no women around, will that man shut down these comments?

Just as not all men are sexist, condenscending, misogynistic pigs, not all people are racist and bigoted. I think most people are not. But many turn a blind eye to behaviors they know are wrong, not wanting to get involved.

Of course, it is their prerogative. I just wish more people would investigate what systemic, institutionalized racism is.

I never said kill anyone, and I do not see this poem as a call for violence. Even when I was young murder was never justified. I do not believe in riots but I do believe in nonviolent protest. Just as not all men are sexist, and most people are not racist, most protesters are non-violent.

If you find this violent, please let me know what it is and I will take it down.

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2020:

A B Williams, I watched that story also. I was appalled by this action. Nothing justifies it. I know they both are "stable", but that is relative. I am still praying they pull through without disability. And the fact that someone yelled about wishing them dead horrifies me. Thank you for your comment. I hope you and yours are well!

Kari Poulsen (author) from Ohio on September 15, 2020:

Thank you Kathleen, I agree we can do better as a country. Hopefully people will educate themselves on institutionalized systemic racism. It is a thing and we must address it.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on September 14, 2020:

I have to think on this. I know there are wrongs. I know there are rights. I also no that not every BIPOC is targeted and that not all white males hold others down.

I do not think it ever good to kill in order to make a point.

Sometimes I wish I were young again so that I could be so sure of something as to justify violence.

A B Williams from Central Florida on September 14, 2020:

I've just received word that the two L.A. County Sheriff Deputies, which were ambushed on 9-12, are going to live! Praise God. I am not sure what color the person that attempted to execute them, is....I am not sure what color those that blocked the entryway to the emergency room, yelling "we hope they die" are, but I think we'd all agree, no matter their color, the content of their character is seriously lacking and is what will be judged in the end.

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on September 14, 2020:

Well said. I'm usually pretty cynical about Americans changing their minds, but this time - maybe this time - change will happen. We used to throw trash out our car windows and think nothing of it. We changed. We used to not have seatbelts in our cars and hang baby seats on the back of the seat between the driver and the passenger. We changed. We used to smoke in elevators. We changed. America is capable of doing better. We can make America good again - for everybody.

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