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poetry
Color-Blind

"Color-Blind" – 6/02/20
 
 
I'm wearing a T-shirt that says "Engage" today. It's the closest
I could come to one that says "Black Lives Matter"
I'm eager to turn another mental page today, not to think
About the bad cops who get into it just to bruise and batter
 
I think about innocents, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters
Watching murder on camera then turn the camera on myself
I was raised to be 'colorblind', told my grandfather fought for
Civil Rights only met him a couple times he gave flash-lights
 
To us as gifts the couple times he came for family visits
He was Southern but foremost he was Jewish I know he kept
Kosher I know he was the kind who followed some rules
But not others I know he taught my mother about injustice

He must have also taught this to my aunt too both women
Do not mince words both women are not afraid to be heard
I woke up today understanding more fully how much that lack
Of fear, that willingness to take the pulpit of empathy freely
 
Has been a luxury, a privilege but also a kind of distraction
Had I been more afraid, uncomfortable, enraged sooner
Maybe there would be one corner in one less neighborhood
Ablaze maybe I would have spent some dollars differently

More mindful of the power of my ability to choose which
Energy bolsters a broken system charging hate's battery
I am grateful suddenly to have gone to a college criticized by
So many as being "overly PC" but steeping oneself in diversity
 
Never seemed like anything but a positive to me
Over the last few days I have been encouraged, begged even
To take a good, long look at what I can do to better support
Justice, to use my platform to offer resources, to stand up
 
For what is right 365 days a year, every year, for the rest
Of my life and also to examine and reflect upon my own
Relatively easy life. I have had cancer, true enough
Been sexually assaulted, and through music I’ve opened up
 
I've been bullied and called a lesbian before I even knew
What the word meant, then called a slut in the same breath
Occasionally I have had a glimpse of what it feels like
To truly experience bigotry by being Jewish and witnessing
 
Anti-semitism for as long as I can remember but almost
Always from a safe, relatively comfortable distance
What I haven't done is experienced the lack of freedom
Inhumanity of being treated by authority as lesser because
 
Of the color of my skin. Never have or will I endure that
Particular kind of cruelty and what I would deem insanity
Gaslighting has become a very popular term understandably
For the physical and emotional violence against women
 
Our country and the world over has encouraged, systemically
I vow in this and every other yet-to-be-written piece of poetry
Both on the page and in the fibers of my day to day
To make all the space in the world for diverse voices in my life
 
I vow, unconditionally, to commit encouragement, support,
Respect and resources to justice, as ever, but more so
My parents and their parents before them spoke against hate
I am proud of their actions and grateful for the ability to be

Articulate but as Wanda says this is "Civil War Part 2"
I can't leave it up to you to tell me what to do or up to
Tomorrow to tell me when it's time to do more, ignore less
And not be blind to how the color of one's skin does matter