The Age Of Innocence Poem by Jan Oskar Hansen

The Age Of Innocence

The time of innocence

We grew up thinking whiteness had to do
with skin colour, since we came from a Nordic country
this made sense; the lack of sun and so on.
Now it is political.
Whiteness is responsible for all ills in the world
a good thing to remember when getting up at six
walking to the fish factory, putting in long hours
for a meagre pay packet.
We know of the intrepid, who colonized the East
and Africa, we did not benefit from this other
then asked to give our hard-earned money to
a religious mission to help the starving.
We resent being called racist, we were as poor
as those we sent money to; at a time when we had
to steal coal at the railway depot and plunder
potatoes in a farmer's field.
Great composers, noted scientists, inventors and
prodigious writers were white contributed to
their skills to make life bearable; yes, we are
proud of them and feel no guilt in our whiteness.

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