Words Fail Me

Words fail me
When I’m trying to find a way
To confront those people
Who have so much privilege
And are so far above so many
That they can’t see down far enough
To see the realities of so many lives
That are so very very different from their own

Words fail me
When the research has been done
The statistics bear out the truth
Of the hate, the institutional racism
The unfairness of pigmentation
Or the lack thereof
How crazy it is to think
That these people aren’t at a disadvantage
When not that long ago
They couldn’t order a sandwich
When you’ve been able to do whatever you want
Your whole damn life.

Words fail me
Because my parents and grandparents and great grandparents
Owned their own homes, cars, nice things
They had farms, and businesses, and good jobs
They had good educations
Where everyone in their schools
Was white, like them
And when people with darker complexions
Moved into their neighborhoods
Many of their pale neighbors
Moved out

Words fail me
When instead of celebrating these families
Who were in so many cases
The first in their family history to own their own homes
They fled in ignorant fear
Because there goes the neighborhood
But no, they weren’t racist
There’s nothing wrong with moving on up
Just so long as there’s still somewhere else
For them to move on up to too
When where they were is now inferior
Because it’s no longer lily white

Words fail me
When kids are gunned down
By the men sworn to protect them
And people look for any reason
To blame the victim
Even when he’s left in the street
Like the piece of trash those in power view him to be
Because he had the bad luck to be brown
And might have been a thief
When the thieves of Wall Street
Still sit in their ivory towers
Counting our money
If petty theft is worth half a dozen bullets
There are plenty of men in three piece suits
Who deserve a 50 caliber to the head

Words fail me
When people equate poverty with brown skin
Or welfare fraud with blackness
When people of any nationality or religion
Are targeted as being more likely to be terrorists
And profiled, pulled over, stopped, frisked, questioned
For being guilty of being brown
When the mass school shootings
Or Oklahoma City bombing
Or Letter bombings
Or serial killings
Were perpetrated primarily by white males
But those are isolated incidents
And not indicative of a bigger problem

Words fail me
When people can’t err on the side of maybe
Maybe these things are true
Maybe they’ve been wrong
Maybe their troubles and struggles
Because we all know everyone has these
And understanding our racist society
Or doing everything you can to correct this
Does not in any way diminish these things
That are true for you
But it does help pave the way
For a better tomorrow
Not just for those people who happen to have darker skin
But for all of us

Words fail me
When acknowledging that as a society
Some were once owned
And that while the laws have changed
That’s a history that many won’t forget
And I’m not talking about those whose ancestors were owned
I’m talking about those who think it was wrong
To change the laws in the first place
And will only ever see people with darker skin
As society’s problems

Words fail me
When politicians can’t find a way
To fund healthcare, or education
Or food for starving children
Or any of the things
That stand a chance to improve humanity
But they can fund wars
That harm us all
Without even looking at the price tag

Words fail me
When people complain about those
Who are powerless to change things
Who are the ones at the bottom
With nothing to their name
Instead of the politicians
Who instill this fear in the others
While stealing all of us blind
Playing a shell game where everyone
But the politicians and big money interest
Lose everything when they already had nothing

Words fail me
When people can’t see or understand
That reaching down to help someone else up
Does not pull you down to where they were
But puts us on equal footing
So that we can help each other
Because we have so so far to climb
And we’ll only get there
If we work together.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.