“You are never to young to teach or too old to learn.” (Lady Macbeth)
Actually, I am not really sure who said that, but most likely it was not Lady Macbeth. Just wanted your attention. This contest IS about learning, unlearning, or relearning–about ourselves, others, and racism in America.
Amazingly, (or not) a number of people have messaged me privately to urge me take sides in this dialog–but there are no sides to take. If you can’t stand the heat, as Harry Truman once famously said, become vegetarian and eat raw food.
I am not, however, indifferent to the often contentious nature of the conversations. (And the word is contentious, not contemptuous) I did find a quote to share, though, that I think is significant:
“I don’t believe any of (my friends) are consciously racist. If I did believe them to be consciously racist, they wouldn’t be my friends. (Implicit bias is an entirely different thing, but I think that failing to recognize your own privilege is a far lesser sin than conscious racism.)”
The emphasis added is my own, to this quote from Wake University Law Professor Tanya Marsh, who also provided the featured photo.
Now, enough ed-splaining myself as a prelude to this post. This entry comes from our youngest writer ( middle scholar–OOPS! SCHOOLER! –) Katy Keim: the first to enter our contest, and the first with a second entry. Katy is tuning her piano. Someday, Carnegie Hall will be sold out for her. Thanks for joining us again, Ms Keim.
Whose Skin is That?
By Katalyn Keim
Whose skin is that?
I may know.
Its owner is quite upset, though.
It really is a tale of woe.
I watch him frown.
I say hello.
He gives his skin a nice hard tug.
He is ashamed of the color of his mug.
His skin is brown, dark and deep,
He lies in bed with eyes that weep.
He slumps down in his bitter bed,
With only thoughts of sadness in his head,
He idolizes being dead.
He can’t decide if to stay in bed,
Or to face the day with eternal dread.
Should he stay or should he go?
He knows he should go, oh!
There will be nothing but pain, though!
He has no other place to go.
No food to eat,
No appointment to keep
No, he doesn’t matter…
So why not sleep?
The pigment on his skin,
They cannot accept,
That he is different than the rest.
He may as well just stay in bed.
They can’t hurt him if he’s dead.
and now, from the amazing Paul Robeson, my personal hero, courageous activist who died in poverty, in the land of plenty (that would be our America).