September 16th, 2019

The Racism

You’re going to ask if my poem’s racist

and what I’ll say to your face is

anything can be racist in the wrong hands

something innocent here

can be weaponized in some other lands

And some will say, but a racist minority just can’t be

sure if you’re looking at it shortsightedly

Because there’s usually more than one minority around

like during the Rodney King riots

didn’t they bust up Korea town?

Sure, when one race has been handled racistly

they’ll handle questions about their own behavior evasively,

but noone’s hands are clear when dirty behavior is handed ‘round

even when who’s in charge gets turned around

It was rough, nervous days in many African countries

when power was handed to the actual, natural majorities

and in some cases

they turned on the racism against things Americans don’t think of as separate races.

What the hell is a Tutsi or a Hutu anyway?
Well, any Rwandan can readily say

YOU can’t tell the difference between Germans and Francs,

but both World Wars were simply race wars –

don’t get distracted by planes, artillery and tanks

For Americans the issue of races narrows down to two, three, or four,

but beyond our borders there are at least three thousand more

This is what it’s really about

– teeming masses at our shores

And to the average ‘Merican

it’s only Mexicans knocking at our door

Doubtless racism is a problem here

one we’ve taken steps backwards on lately, I fear

But I’ve learned the following things that lighten my heart

oddly item one is that any race can play either part

But if overcoming racism is ever going to be our goal

This Country has a better chance at making it’s society whole

It’s understanding and exposure to the other guy

that starts moving towards the better sky,

And by the end of the twentieth century

we got closer to understanding all these faces

And I think we almost got over the stumbling block

that we seem to think that race is

in our minds