I am a white Baptist male living in Georgia, and I’ve found that the best way for white people to fight racism is to put other whites on the defensive when they make racist comments. For years I felt uncomfortable whenever someone made a remark like “You’re not sending your kids to public school with those children, are you?” Now I just ask, “What do you mean?”
Here’s an example: Last year I was watching a college basketball game when a man said to me, “I used to love basketball before they stole it from us.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“No, what are you talking about?”
“You know what I mean.”
“No, explain it to me.”
“Forget about it.”
Suddenly he felt uncomfortable instead of me.
-- Bob Herndon
“Chickpea to Cook “
A chickpea leaps almost over the rim of the pot
where it's being boiled.
"Why are you doing this to me?"
The cook knocks him down with the ladle.
"Don't you try to jump out.
You think I'm torturing you.
I'm giving you flavor,
so you can mix with spices and rice
and be the lovely vitality of a human being.
Remember when you drank rain in the garden.
That was for this."
Grace first. Sexual pleasure,
then a boiling new life begins,
and the Friend has something good to eat.
Eventually the chickpea
will say to the cook,
"Boil me some more.
Hit me with the skimming spoon.
I can't do this by myself.
I'm like an elephant that dreams of gardens
back in Hindustan and doesn't pay attention
to his driver. You're my cook, my driver,
my way into existence. I love your cooking."
The cook says,
"I was once like you,
fresh from the ground. Then I boiled in time,
and boiled in the body, two fierce boilings.
My animal soul grew powerful.
I controlled it with practices,
and boiled some more, and boiled
once beyond that,
and became your teacher."
-- Rumi (translated by Coleman Barks)