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Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday's Poetry Corner—To the Polite Racists

The New York Times dedicated a full page to a poem by Langston Hughes called, I, Too.

This week, Keith Lamont Scott became the latest victim of a fatal police shooting in North Carolina.  In my opinion, he was shot because he was a black man surrounded by out-of-control hysterical police who screamed at him, cursed at him, and then shot him to death in the street.

His wife recorded the incident on her phone.  Do you see a gun near his feet?  I don't.  

Everyday racism is so common that most of us politely ignore it, gloss over it, and tolerate it.  But, the irony is that we're not keeping the peace.  We are promoting racism in all of its forms, and people are still dying in the street as a result.

If keeping the peace means keeping my mouth shut when I witness a racist act or hear a racist comment, then I am not for keeping that peace.  I will roar it down every time.

To the Polite Racists
by TA Nelson

I am tired 
of the fear
that feeds the ignorant
and the entitled
their daily dose of hate

I am weary
those who 
blame the victims

I am disgusted
with cowards who don't stand up to it  

I am worried
about the next generation of kids
who will not learn about inequality

I am sick
of a new generation of parents
who teach their children
to ignore discrimination

refuse to allow 
one more person to express
their bigotry to me  

I have not forgotten
 about lynchings and segregated drinking fountains 
and civil rights workers who died
in Mississippi

that racial profiling is 
not the same as an opinion

I will not tolerate
racism, now or ever

I make no apologies 
for standing up to
racial profiling

and the polite racists in my family

I do not care
if this makes me unpopular.

• fight • racism • every • day •

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