Posts Tagged ‘Racism’

it (still) exists.

There is an unseen cancer, and with plenty of time to roam
It’s fused itself into bone, not simply in homes but in the structures of our own
Zones divided by race and income are just the surface, and should make us nervous
That maybe we’re not as developed as we thought.
But don’t get caught up thinking we’re held down, instead look around
An honest bit of self aware, will beat the kick and snare to drive this rhythm into
A better tomorrow, though it is not yet ours to borrow.

Because sorrow and tears filled years of history,
it’s no mystery that the health and wealth
Of so many including myself are not the same enjoyed by all,
even though all have sinned
It seems opportunities for redemption have thinned if you live downwind
or have the wrong type of skin,
and no one wins when race sets the pace for how much grace
One is allowed. And so, lifting heads bowed,
or coming down from the clouds of denial
we can confess that even if we didn’t make the mess,
it’s ours to offer healing.
There is no sealing off the past
In Ziploc bags and counting them as waste,
no hasty retreat from the racism our feet were born standing upon,
it’s one thing to recognize it’s wrong, and another to want it gone,
and still another take action,
gaining traction as one hand joins another,
sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers,
Pulling back the covers of injustice and schisms,
including all the -isms we’ve been sold as healthy rhythms.
Racism – not just blacks and whites, but a systematic fight for the right to thrive,
and we agree that all lives matter, but to scatter our attention with such chatter
is to lose sight of a brighter light
One that shines on both sides of the tracks, and the fact remains that no matter how much we strain
to prove we treat all men the same, the game hasn’t changed – just the rules,
and fools can see the tools are made for certain hands,
and so we stand and ask for something new.

We move from I believe, to I do.

And the shoes we’re wearing are better suited for old paths,
so in this aftermath we may be asked to walk barefoot as we discover
just what it feels like to press skin to such a ground as we found
we’ve been surrounded by this entire time. It’s a higher climb than we may have thought,
but the fight has already been fought by plenty who came before,
and to ignore their words would be an absurd mistake of the grandiose,
to come so close and look away would be to play dress up,
but our grandchildren ask us not to mess up, they need more than this.
They ask us not to miss a chance to plant seeds,
and dance swiftly toward a healing that must come, and can not from legislation alone,
but starts in our home, as we reach out of comfort zones
to share in the cares of those we were previously unaware.

As we stare deep into our own cares and desires,
we continue to light the fires of selfish ambition that we’ve been wishing
our nation would be rid of once and for all. So we answer the call,
and look up from our own cup, striking up conversation and demonstration
that goes further than the greed of immediate need, but plants seeds for a new tomorrow.
The sorrow of a trampled population set free by compassion of a New Nation,
not simply elation but a joy built on solid Hope
that when we’re at the end of our rope – we are not alone.
We’ve been shown a better way, and offered a brighter day.
It’s not somewhere floating in outer space, it’s right in front of us, and labeled as race.

We may not know exactly how to remove the cyst,
But we know the first step is to admit it exists. Relaxing clenched fists, to open palms
Reminded by the Psalms of a deeper scene,
And pointed there again by a man who had a dream…

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not guilty?

“Not guilty”

the verdict flashes, and the masses don’t take long for their chance to pounce

To own just an ounce of the minutes that come after, to be a voice in the chatter

To say the one thing that remains unsaid, but the fact remains –

Someone is dead.

Someone died at the hands of another, a mother lost her son,

a gun that ripped through more than flesh and marrow,

but through the narrow veins of racism still pulsing through a nation

still committed to pretending it’s United. It’s invited all sorts of analytics, and politics, and tricks

of logic boosted by words spoken with great emotion.

All the while it’s simply a stream leading to an ocean.

There’s a larger problem than this case, or that person, or that issue

Something worth wetting more than single tissues,

Worth mourning floods and wails of confession,

and worth both individual and communal confessions

of we.

We’re comforted by pronouns that point the finger, the fact that guilty feelings never linger as long as we keep tuned in to the latest thing, the latest stream of others doing worse than what we’ve done.

But we’ve become numb, and so dumb – unable to speak for our lack of practice, but the fact is

We have a choice, and we’ve chosen against those without voice.

We strive for dreams labeled by nationality, but in reality an empty promise,

and throwing Doubting Thomas off the boat…see if he’ll float.

Authors wrote about days like these, and called them “last”.

But don’t move too fast, and twist my words into a chance to merchandise,

Rather, view this moment with new eyes…

Let the blasts of accusations fade, even the ones most recently made as the feed ticks slowly by

Your need to reply, or question why goes slowly the way of realizing the ocean beyond the stream.
See what I mean?

In the silence that follows, find solace in the hollows of comments never made

Take shade from the torrents of words and emotions, pray over that ocean.

Because even though the words spoken were “not guilty”, there is not end to what has happened

Neither was this the beginning, as our grip on morality is thinning

We realize it was not he, but we, who were on trial.

And We. Are. Guilty.

But there. Is. Grace.

Amazing.

Seek His Face.

(To hear this spoken by a young man who used to be a student in my youth ministry, click here!!!!)

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