Although I am not white, I admit I enjoy white privilege because most people perceive me as white. My mother was Melungeon, a mix raced people of Appalachia, and my real father was of Hispanic heritage. Most people look at me and see white features and assume a Greek or Italian heritage. Yes, some ignorant people have said stupid, racist things to me because of their assumption of my whiteness. In light of recent events, the privilege given to me by my features and skin color demands that I stand up to help.
Wind and rain Of this horrid spring Whips us to perfection Of brokenness being Beaten souls That we are In this time of need And want of touch. Our loneness sheltered Bodies, our silence shattered souls, Contoured colors of minds Restrained our madness In this once upon a time. If only to wake in the warmth Of human skin upon skin Once again in some perfumed swirl Contained in believing a speck of faith Preserved as a fly in amber. That fly who found rest In warm liquid ooze But was never to escape. Yes, grateful to escape to This fitful rest though, yes, It is, indeed, blessed. My mind scatters, Struggles to find a train of thought To ride in peace from one station To the next, make a trip to the elegance Of a dining car, white glove service And all else– in contrast— To this vast emptiness— With which to wrestle like Jacob, But my soul has long been crippled. All the trains left the station, Ran circles around my heart, Chugging on into the tunnels To find there isn’t much In expectation on the other side Of those darkened tunnels. No light, no light, Just a cold grey Of a horrid spring.
Originally posted in August of 2017. However, after driving from Dallas to Houston to take care of some business with having a home built and experiencing nearly deserted roads because of the lock downs and quarantines, I thought I’d touch it up a bit and post it again.
From the shaking dirge cries of birth
To the desire for ease in the between,
Before the elemental breath rattles at death,
We are lost in cacophonous sighs of daily life,
Choosing to turn away
From moments appearing as iridescent sun rays
As if God's fingers reached
Between the clouds
To touch the earth.
Yes, we turn away,
Pick up kids,
A trip to Wal-Mart,
And to work,
The mundane of every day,
Yes, it must be done,
To hurry toward the waiting,
While living holding sand,
the elemental breath before death.
America, we never were a great nation.
Not with the genocide of native peoples, slave auctions
And slavery, Jim Crow, The Trail of Tears,
Japanese Internments, and the KKK.
No, we were never great.
We are always a nation of becoming.
A nation of ideals.
A nation great in flickering moments
Like old news reel footage:
When Harriet led her railroad,
When the suffragettes marched for the vote,
When Rosa would not be moved,
When Martin believed in the one day
Every child would have,
When Edie and Thea showed
Marriage should be defined by love,
Not biological gender.
We are a people of hope, of dreams,
Of knowing life would be better
When we made each other great.
Now, hate ripples from one sea
To another, and neither shines any longer
With Liberty because her torch
Grows dim with this reign of hate.
And there are many who want to forge once again
The chains to her ankles, shackling her in place,
Because they want to keep her,
But just for looks sake. Her mate, Justice, remains
On life support, having been beaten to a bloody pulp
By those who see color, who see gender,
Who see all the women who need
To be put in their place,
Who see a society where Justice serves only
The white Christian right, or rather, where Justice is made
Their slave. No, this is not a great nation.
This is not a great nation
When a leader can bully and spew hate
While the First Lady urges kids
“Be Best” in a limp campaign to not do the same
And few mention the irony.
This is not a great nation.
This is not a great nation
When a leader can urge violence
Against the media, immigrants, those who disagree
And so few carry an outcry.
This not a great nation
Where 18 trans women, 17 of them of color,
Can be murdered within less than a year
Yet our highest court must hear how
Laws do not apply to LGBTQ.
No, this is not a great nation
When so many must blame, exclude, and hate,
When so many must abase another to uplift themselves,
All the while professing Christianity.
Our founders gave us rules of law to make us better than this.
We are not a great nation
Until we realize the American Dream
Doesn’t see color or gender,
Doesn’t see race or religion,
Doesn’t see sexual identity,
Until none of us need to stand on the backs
Of others to feel better about ourselves—
Until we realize the American Dream is freedom and equality
And there is enough for all to go around,
We can not be a great nation.
But the greatness in our nation is this:
That we can be
If we recognize our humanity.
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