#RRBC, IT’S COMING FROM BOTH SIDES
Last night, I happened upon a very interesting documentary about the desegregation of busing in Boston public schools. “The call for desegregation and the first years of its implementation, led to a series of racial protests and riots that brought national attention, particularly from 1974 to 1976. It led to a decline of public school enrollment and white flight to the suburbs.” (ref: Wikipedia)
In this documentary, a teacher asked his class of all black students, why they thought the white kids had left their school? The response was: “They didn’t want to sit next to us.” Recently, during another open discussion on social media, I read this comment by a white student: “They are prejudiced against us, too.” (WOW! When the word too is used, that’s an open admission that this is going on, right?)
I don’t recall the name of the documentary, as I came in on the middle of it, but it moved me so much, I felt compelled to pen this poem…as it is coming from both sides, people. Let’s wake up. Our kids are speaking.
“DOES MY LIFE MATTER?”
I am a black woman, and because of the shade of my skin and coarseness of my hair, because of the fullness of my hips, my lips and the bold colors I wear…some don’t find me as attractive as my fairer counterparts. You see, I’m no longer your house-maid or here for your sexual pleasure; no longer Mamie to your children, I’m now someone’s Mother…a treasure. But, does my life matter?
I am a black man, and because of my dark skin and the boldness of my stance, because of the kinky in my hair, the anger in my stare, and the wear and tear shown on my hands…some still don’t see me as a man. You see, I’m no longer your field property or your whipping post. I’ve freedom papers and own land now, maybe, more than most. You build cages to hold me, guilty or not; where you should build institutions of higher learning, you lock me away for little things, then leave me there to rot. Will my bed forever be a cot? But, does my life matter?
I am a white woman, and because of my milk dove skin and cute, pinched nose, thin ruby red lips and fair skin that glows…with my pearly whites and prominent chin…some still look at me and despise the skin I’m in. I was never privy to the pain that was caused. I was born into that hatred…those God-awful laws. So, does my life still matter?
I am a white man, born into privilege and wealth, easy life, perfect health, yet…I’m still persecuted and referred to as “the man.” I, too, hate the ways of the Ku Klux Klan. My neighbors are black, white, green and red…still, I haven’t fled. To be where everyone looks more like me, is not where I want to be. I, too, would like to one day be FREE. (Yes, FREE! It also applies to me!)…FREE of the labels that bind because of the color of my skin. I’ve never owned any human or degraded any man. But, does my life still matter?
I am a brown-skinned woman and because of my accented words, you think I should be silent…quiet and not heard. I can do more, than clean your windows and floors. Just ask me what I’m capable of, you’d be surprised, I’m sure. I may have come here via the back of a truck, or even the legal route, if I was blessed with such luck. Maybe I was born here, and my parents, too. In your eyes, would that still make me less American than you? Does my life matter?
I am a brown-skinned man and though maybe a bit stocky, I’m no less in appearance, than your brawn and cocky. I’m not a rapist, a thief or thug…but a man like you, with kids to hug. I’m not ashamed to tend your lawns and trees, but Executive, also a title I’d wear with ease; whatever it takes…my family to feed. Don’t dismiss, or overlook my face; I may not have been born here, but I’m here to stay. And with that said, does my life still matter?
With all that’s going on, there’s much racial unrest. It’s time to put differences aside and put real LOVE to the test. We can’t keep fighting each other, when there are real wars going on. We must come together in love, heal and stand strong. There are real enemies among us, and their names we know not. We must stand on the front lines, together and talk.
The differences between us are fewer than those in our heads; and in the end, until we draw our last breath, we all still bleed red. Yes, that small matter is what makes us brothers, and binds us tighter than any other.
That stream of red flowing thru our veins, is what should force us to…
release all blame,
stop the pain,
no more blood we’ll shed.
Yes, the hatred does come from both sides and it’s time WE all bring it to a peaceful end.
“ALL LIVES MATTER.”
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