(A Poem) I am a child of

I am a child of

end-stage racism,
a genocided, extinct person.

This is not a European face.
It’s a Turkish face, I came by the same way
Malcolm X came by his red hair.
One line of judicial code says it all,
“The testimony of a Serb against a Turk
is inadmissible in court.”
The rule of law-
lessness that governed us during our
half-a-millenial captivity in the Middle East.

My grandmother would have seen old men
with backs scarred up from whippings by The Turk.



She would have seen the people of her village ridiculed
throughout Europe as gorillas – dangerous, furry apes.

Serbians must die
Serbians must die

She would have seen her sister lose eight of her
children to Aryan Supremacists, slaughtered as racial inferiors
so sadistically Hitler was appalled.

Grandma was marooned here and surrendered to our exterminators,
enslaved in a marriage to a man who Klanned on her,
Every day berating her on our ethnic identity,
the only one that could ever be mentioned –

The Stupid, Ugly and Worthless Race.

I arrived, just as the people here the most like us added a
new phrase to their very similar identity –

People TREATED LIKE The Stupid, Ugly and Worthless Race.

The brilliant two words that re-order the universe.

For a lifetime they have awed me, these people who rescued me.
My heroes.
The most powerful and successful minority on earth.

While we, the minority Serbs of Croatia, are the most failed.

How did they ever do it?
How did they ever get the world to hear those two words?
Pray God we never lose that voice.

For those are the Americans I chose, as a child, to assimilate to.
My babies and grandbabies are alive and well,
living as people of color in America.

And that has been my White privilege.

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