Before becoming a member of ACT UP San Francisco in 1996, Ronnie Burk lived on the island of Maui at several different periods in the early 1990s. Along with writing poetry and studying Buddhism, he became aware of the Hawaiian people’s struggle against racism and exploitation, something he himself experienced as a gay man of Mexican and Indigenous American descent.
In Monica Sanchez‘s archive there are several letters he wrote to The Maui News on this topic. Here is one of a few examples of Ronnie including collage with the presentation of a poem. “Listen, whiteman!” speaks prophetically to the challenges the world faces in this day and age.