If anything describes the last year, it’s Franny Choi’s “Whiteness Walks into a Bar.” It’s difficult to ignore the privilege and the denial of that privilege even existing. If white privilege exists, then why xyz? As if that is sound argument. Covid deniers took the street, filled their Facebook walls and Twitter feeds with Q-anon conspiracy theories. They boasted how they were freethinkers, unlike the sheep who wore masks, continued to socially distance, and fear for their well beings. As the numbers continued to rise, they made statements that maybe grandma should take one for Team America. And when it was their own grandmothers dying of covid, they complained how disrespectful Twitter can be.
Last year, Donald Trump lit the fuse when he referred to Covid-19 as the “China virus.” And his blatant racism exploded, placing the social crosshairs towards anyone of Asian decent. Yet he has doubled down since then, continually using the racist-filled epithet to stoke the fires. To give his followers reason. And elderly lady was beaten in public. A child was told she was a virus. People who grew up in this country were told to go back to wherever it was they came from.
So when I listened to this poem last month, I knew it had to be apart of my list. So for the twenty-fifth poem, I present to you “Whiteness Walks into a Bar” by Franny Choi.