Rent by Charl Landsberg

Charl Landsberg | May 12th, 2016 | a poem a day challenge, poetry | No Comments

Poet Bio

you and me
fellow kin
we rent this space
set up tent in another people’s place
went where we were not welcome
and called everything we saw ours
even the people
you and me
fellow kin
carry the debt of our ancestors
white skin with historical inheritance
institutional persistence
and wealth that still stands
to this day
and I say
you and me
fellow kin
our guilt is worthless
our feelings nothing
our tears a tool of oppression
stand up for justice
and do what’s right
drag your racism into the light
undo everything in you that is white
and stop calling your casual racism
you’re deliberately averting your eyes
to your own complicity and lies
you and me
fellow kin
must become sibling to our fellows
and share in their pains
for what are our gains
crumbling ruins and toppled statues
our space is rented
temporary and fleeting
you and me
fellow kin
must unbecome the vestiges of whiteness
discriminating on the basis of likeness
the tools we still use to exclude people
from exclusive spaces
and so-called holy places
reserved for porcelain faces
to the exclusion of other races
you and me
fellow kin
stand with me
against your racist family
against your racist friends
this ends with you and me
fellow kin

Poet Bio

Charl Landsberg is a South African transgender poet, artist, musician, and activist who’s work centres LGBTQIA+, feminist, and race issues. They have a MTh in biblical scholarship at UKZN concerning HIV, feminism, and theological approaches to social issues in South Africa, especially highlighting the work of African feminists and women theologians.

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