Put the blame on BAME, why don'tcha?
Yelling that you stand up against social injustice does not mean that you do. One of the things that has shocked me the most about my time in the left is how various characters can say and write one thing, and then do the exact opposite, like words don't have meaning.
It's a flimsy Potemkin village of left postures, a sleight-of-hand art mastered by a largely white Oxbridge elite who tell others to check their privilege while failing to do so themeselves; who loudly defend victims while slyly substituting themselves for such and booting out the incumbents; who insist they tell the truth while twisting the narrative out of shape.
Whiny and self-serving, brooking no challenge or debate, it is the art of perpetuating oppression while posing as liberator and utterly gobsmacking in its cheek.
I always thought the role of the revolutionary was to make visible the invisible. That goes for hidden power relations as well as flesh and blood human beings.
Face value and lip service are tools of the trade when you take the public for a ride. Perhaps the inability to discern between actions and words does indeed make you a sucker.
Cue drumroll: on a silver salver, may I present to you a blue pill and a red pill … Your choice.
Sisters (first draft)
by Anna Chen
The siren sisters call,
"Help her. Help her."
"Help the woman of colour.
We'll tweet and link
if not our arms then our charms:
I am the good fairy, look at me."
But I am a woman of colour.
"We are all women of colour now."
No, I AM a woman of colour.
"Not sure your type qualifies.
That's almost white but not quite.
Help her. Help the woman of colour
except for the ... what is it you are again?"
But I AM a woman of colour.
"Then help yourself."
I would like to thank all the white sisters
who say they could not give a shit
or who say they do, without whom ...
I am the fabulous Ninja Gurl who dances among you
blowing kisses and raspberries,
turning cartwheels and juggling flames.
"Is there a draught in here? Shut that door,"
say the dames atremble
that some ghostly elephant has thundered into the parlour
and pissed on their parade.
You are chilly and chilled in your icicle tower
and can freeze me out at a hundred paces.
Your thousand-yard stare is as close as you can bear
my ashy traces in the sand.
I am not insubstantial, a helpless damsel in distress
who you can pet like a mouse,
neither am I an industry powerhouse, of use.
In your dark lens I am let loose, the barbarian at the gate
who you secretly rate,
but who you fear would play buzkashi,
pounding your carcass into dirt under my horse-hooves.
I, subspecies, stinking of animal skins,
ripping carcasses with graveyard teeth, blood on my breath,
who's fought in battle for our cause,
dived off sheer cliffs and hobbled
on smashed spine back to health.
No wonder you won't let me in.
I am the wind under your roof,
the fierce blast shaking your ballast,
that rattles your windows.
And how are you enjoying the view?
Every Cinderella should have such sisters.
In the shadows, in the cracks beneath the crags,
While you file your copy, I file my teeth to jags.
Case study of experience in the British left.
- About: British Chinese poet, writer and broadcaster Anna Chen
- On the radio
- Arts Reviews
- The Steampunk Opium Wars
- Foot and Mouth Campaign
- RSC The Orphan of Zhao controversy
- A Bad Case of the Trots
- Reaching for my Gnu: poetry
- Print Room protest: In the Depths of Dead Love chronology
- Poetry Live!
- Yellow Peril Orientalism