I wish my friends were white girls

08 Jan 2006

Background: Dwayne Morgan wrote this poem in response to the Boxing day shooting on Yonge Street that claimed the life of 15-year old Jane Creba. Jane Creba was the first female white victim of Toronto''s gun violence. This tableau presents the names and faces of some of the other victims of a very deadly 2005.

I wonder if

Little X still wishes

That all of his friends

Were White girls;

With blonde hair,

And blue eyes,

So that when they died,

Someone would give a damn,

Because I find myself

Feeling the same way,

And I hope

That I’m not alone.

Somehow, everything can be rationalized away,

As long as it stays over there,

But once it draws near,

We become the enemies in a culture of fear,

Where racism rear’s it’s head;

I wonder where the outcry of anger is

For the young Black men who lie dead.

This is no different

From America ’s war on drugs,

Which wasn’t a war

When the crack and coke stayed in the slums,

But once the thugs

Started to make runs to the burbs,

Once blind eyes,

Had to turn

And face the music.

Today they use it

As a scapegoat;

Trying to ban 50 Cent,

To help stop the violence,

Which makes no sense,

When it’s White kids who line up

To buy his albums and tickets.

It’s like they’re trying to put a sound proof fence

Around the white picket;

They’re in the media,

Pressing the right buttons,

But not dialing the right digits.

Politicians know that Mike Harris

Planted this seed;

Now the Common Sense Revolution

Is running wild in the streets.

The authorities want more police on the beat,

As though that would stop these youth,

At the point that they’ve reached.

They’re fed up,

And there’s no turning back,

When the road ahead looks hopeless,

If you’re young, male, and Black.

What we are seeing today,

Is no different from the frustration and anger

That set France ablaze.

And, I can’t help but think

That maybe X was right.

Maybe this life

Would be less painful

If all of my friends were White;

Maybe then,

Someone other than me

Would give a damn about their lives.

And I mean no disrespect

to the innocent people who have died,

nor to the memory and the life,

of a girl named Jane,

who was slain on Boxing Day.

I pray that her death not be in vain,

Because her being young and White,

Is the closest thing that I have,

To ever seeing change.

Dwayne Morgan is an award-winning spoken word artist based in Toronto. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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