Whereas is written in response to an obscure declaration of apology to Native Americans signed by President Obama in 2009, a decree that reflected the long history of laws, resolutions, and declarations effecting indigenous people in the United States.
Layli Long Soldier borrows the formal language of government declarations:
"Whereas a string-bean blue-eyed man leans back into a swig of beer work-weary lips at the dark bottle keeping cool in short sleeves and khakis he enters the discussion;
Whereas his wrist loose at the bottleneck to come across as candid “Well at least there was an Apology that’s all I can say” he offers to the circle each of them scholarly;
Whereas under starlight the fireflies wink across East Coast grass and me I sit there painful in my silence glued to a bench in the midst of the American casual;
Whereas a subtle electricity in that low purple light I felt their eyes on my face gauging a reaction and someone’s discomfort leaks out in a well-stated “Hmmm”..."