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One White Girl Ponders Strange Behavior

Marilyn Buck

1995

It is strange to me
that so many white folks
were upset and enraged
by the federal carnage
at the fundamentalist farmhouse
at Waco

     These same "folks"
     were not distraught or outraged
     by the Philadelphia firestorm
     where Black people
     were massacred
     and Black folk's homes
     became ashes

It is strange to me
that the po - lice and FBI
are not running around
kicking in white folks' doors
or stopping all blond or brown-haired men
wearing Levis or Brooks Brothers suits
or Stetsons or John Deere caps
You know:
a search, brutalize, blow-away mission
like those in South Central LA
                         Washington DC
                         Harlem or el barrio

     After all, wasn't it
     all-American white males
     who blew up the federal building
     in Oklahoma City?

It is strange to me
how civilized government agents can be
when it is their friends
they are looking for

It is strange to me
how much fear
the "white" world carries
in its under-siege shoulders
bullet-proofed chests
and M-16s
to ward off the shadows
of half a millenium of
massacres and killing fields
slavery, lynch mobs
and death penalties

     Not only is it strange
     itís time
     for radical behavior
     modification

June 1995; February 2002
This poem appeared in In Defense of Mumia
(Readers & Writers, 1996)