A poem by Mary Helen Kennerly
Mama. He called Mama.
At least that’s why I want to burn, why I feel like I could scream until flames rip out of my throat.
He has called up great power.
I want all of us to turn, all of us who have heard Mama in a store and thought it meant us.
It’s time to turn.
White mamas, mamas with privilege, you have been summoned.
And any of us who have ever cried out Mama, we hear it too, down in our bones.
It’s a cry that can’t go unanswered anymore.
So Minneapolis burns. And we need to gut all the spaces in our lives where systemic racism has quarter. I think of the other mamas who turned a tide: Emmett Till’s, for one.
We speak out of the deep mystery from whence all life springs.
My white people:
Nurture anti-racism in your life like you would a child in your arms, even if you’ve only just heard it named.
Learn what it means and how to foster it.
Care about it, give it space in your life.
Come to understand it, even if it’s difficult and challenges everything.
Mama is coming. And the men who make order in the world should be very afraid.