You’re not racist, you love brown people!

March 21, 2011 § 5 Comments

A usually unacknowledged racism I have experienced not only from strangers, but regularly from friends and lovers is that of being exoticised for my race and skin tone. I quote, paraphrase and relay with barely any poetic license some of these experiences in the following verses.

**profanity and sexual content warning

You’re not racist, you love brown people!

I’m not your erotic exotic
Not coffee, caramel or chocolate
You want to eat me so you can grow
But I’m a wonderland you’ll never know

You do yoga? You’re spiritualistic?
Want to seduce me to sitar music?
Your third eye’s open? And fixed on me?
Now light your incense to incense me!

You love world music and ethnic food?
What a multi-culti attitude!
You can’t be racist, you only fuck Asians!
You don’t even want to be Caucasian!

You’re brown on the inside? ‘Cause you’re full of shit!
A deep tan don’t mean you understand it
You say that I’m lucky to have my skin
But would you trade where white gets you in?

Thanks for noticing we’re not all the same
Asking me where I’m from before you ask my name
I say Oh Melbourne, Sydney, originally Perth
But you push to locate my ethnic worth

You’re always looking to have an edge
You think you’ll find it in my heritage
Oh so curious about minorities
We make such radical accessories

Up high on my shit list
Mac daddy mactivists
Wanna fuck the system but cum on my tits?
You think you’re god’s gift, but I’m an atheist!

Fuck oppression by fucking the oppressed?
Your cultural fetish doesn’t dress to impress
I’m not flattered by your directed obsession
To put me on a pedestal for your condescension

When you don’t even try to sweat it
How will you ever come to get it?
Don’t turn to me to turn you on
Turn on yourself, it’s your white norm


* please note, I have updated this poem as I realised I had used ableist language regarding visual impairment. The poem appears in it’s old version in my zine/chatbooks printed before May 2012 but will be updated in future publications. Apologies to anyone who may have been alienated by my insensitive use of language in print or at readings in the past.


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§ 5 Responses to You’re not racist, you love brown people!

  • holly says:

    Hey, can I use this in a creative writing lecture I’m giving in a few weeks about ‘writing otherness”? I was going to talk about why it isn’t ok to fall back on food descriptions etc, which are an offensive eroticisation of ethnicity/cultural background. This poem would be great to use to illustrate it!

    • harshbrowns says:

      Yes, thanks for asking.
      Just had this suggested to me
      Suheir Hammad’s Not Your Erotic, Not Your Exotic

      and Das Racist flip it in their track
      ‘hahahaha jk?’ (the title of my poem is in part a ref to a lyric in this track)

  • numalein says:

    I love, love, love this! ❤

  • mayhem says:

    Thanks for such fine-polished brilliant sharp words – good to see your writing is as brilliant as your art.

  • Vixen Noir says:

    yes goddammit, yes!!! preach my sister, preach!

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