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Blog - Colin Hambrook

I Hate The White Man


This past day or so I’ve been holding down so much anger at all the shit going down. We’ve got a new Nationality and Borders Bill going through parliament, which further criminalises people seeking asylum promising prison sentences so the white men who lord it over us can make yet more money out of misery.

We live in a society under a system which seeks to make the planet unsustainable for human life. Why do we want to do away with the human race and all mammals on the face of this earth?

And why are we so childish as to want to cover it all up with stupid nationalism in the form of football? We can expect decades of suffering to come. Aside from the racism and abuse that has been so paramount since yesterday evening, we have the promise of countless thousands whose lives will have been changed irrevocably because of long covid, the newly disabled whose voices none of the gatekeepers want to be heard – not to mention the newly dead. All because of crowds of white men who feel it’s their privileged right to maim and kill on a whim, because of some irrational belief in a white kingdom they feel it’s their birthright to extol – they cry with an ignorance

Some of us don’t have a choice but to hear the howls of death pounding through our skulls – nor do we have a choice but to be blamed, locked up and tortured more for feeling it; trying to find a way to carry on living meaningful lives through it. I’ve been thinking a lot about one of my teenage idols – Roy Harper and THE song with its ferocious pitchfork to the bowels of the society we’ve created that spoke to me more than any other song, when I was a child.

Roy Harper wrote ‘I Hate The White Man’ in 1968 and was released on Flat Baroque and Berserk in 1970. He was pilloried for it in the press and threatened with a bullet when doing a radio interview in Texas.

As a 14 year old it was a song I’d play endlessly to remind myself I wasn’t completely alone in feeling the burden of a system compelled to destroy, pervert and lie to itself in the name of the privilege it owned – the privilege not only to torture with psychiatric abuse, but make huge white fortunes of the back of the suffering it caused.

The powerful cynicism of Harper’s beautiful channelled anger is wrought with a sublime poetry. Harper declared it a testament to a “lifelong devotion to espousing equal rights for all humans.” His lyrics were a balm to me as a youth trying to understand what it was to be disabled; although I didn’t know it then.

They’re a balm now, even though it’s heartbreaking that in the 53 years since it was written that nothing has changed.

And I hate the whiteman
In his doctrinaire refuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned you all loose…

And the bowels of his city
Have been locked into a safe
Where the spew stains on the sidewalks
Are defenders of his faith

While back inside his kitchen
The bowler hatted, long haired saint
Cleans with soap and water
But it’s really just white paint
While his gorgon headed scandal sheet
Presents its daily bite
To give their righteous news-believers
Drugs to keep them white

While outside in the whitewash
Where the guns are always, always right
A shooting star has summoned
Deaths dark angel from its night

And I hate the whiteman
And his evergreen excuse
Oh I hate the whiteman
And the man who turned you all loose
And the man who turned him loose…

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Wendy Young
13 days ago

Feel your pain Colin – share your pain. Thanks for sharing – we need to vent!

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