Stone United Methodist Church
Saturday, July 04, 2020
Creating a Community of Caring Christians

Poem by Bishop William Boyd Grove

 

The following piece is written by retired United Methodist Bishop William Boyd Grove. With his permission, I share this for your prayerful consideration....

 

I CANT BREATHE!
From the first breath we take
as we leave the mother’s womb,
we breathe the air
of white privilege.
Because our skin is white
we do not question it.
Who questions the air they breathe?
From the first breath until the last,
we breathe the air of white privilege.
Until a black brother cannot breathe at all!
A white knee on his black neck.
Three other badges standing, watching.
“I can’t breathe!”
And then, while riots burn our cities down,
and we are afraid,
we think about it for a little while;
until the streets are quiet again.
For a little while
we think about what it must be like
to tell our teen age son
“Don’t wear a hoodie tonight.
Always say ‘Yes sir and yes ma’am’
and better stay in the neighborhood.’”
We think about what it must be like
to have a Ph D and yet
to see a policeman
and be nervous,
even though
we are five miles
under the speed limit.
For a little while, as the city burns
and we are afraid,
we think about it.
But not for long.
When the streets are quiet again,
and no black brother is screaming
“I cannot breathe!”
We will just inhale the sweet air
of white privilege
and not think about it.
WBG