It’s not… It’s just

It’s not that the queen’s language suffocates us as it’s being it force-fed at their schools,

It’s just awkward not being able to talk to your grandmother and have a real conversation beyond stiff hellos and how-are-you’s because of it.

It’s not that the relaxers burn our ears and ruin our hairlines,

It’s just that without the straightness we think we look ugly.

It’s not that the juvenile white boys tease bo Thembi le bo Lebo about their full lips and big asses,

It’s just that they don’t look into their eyes when they fuck so they don’t have to remember, or rather legitimise the act beyond a lewd curiosity.

It’s not that we wake up earlier and leave later, go the extra mile and work twice as hard to prove we aren’t an ornamental BEE appointee,

It’s just that even with all that we’re never enough.

It’s not that people break their backs picking and packing, slaughtering and cutting, washing and folding, mopping and sweeping, guarding and watching -

Its just that we get paid R3500 to raise families we never see.

It’s not that the manager doubts you’re there as a legitimate customer,

It’s just that Jabu has to follow you isle by isle because he thinks so too.

It’s not that students have to study harder because they have never written a discursive essay, conducted a scientific experiment or seen a balance sheet at Siphamandla Secondary School.

It’s just that they have to sleep on empty stomachs in libraries to write the same tests, that their white counterparts ace because of surnames like Johnson and Smith — even though their answers are the same.

It’s not that systematic racism is a bitch,

It’s just that systematic racism is a bitch.