I’m feeling a bit like this tonight:
From the last year of this country, I need that refrain. “Well it’s alright…”
I don’t have a direction for this post tonight. I want to speak to the political situation in our country. I want to speak to the division between those who want to champion other’s rights to a voice and those who would take away those voices.
I want to say that in spite of the political divisiveness we have been experiencing over the past few years, we have seen some of the greatest poetry come out.
I want to talk about how words matter. Literally, our president caused various international incidents just by the rumor that he used the word “shithole.” And no, it’s not the word itself. Vulgarity does not offend me, I was a Marine. In context, the president’s statements were deeply offensive and racist.
I want to talk about how we failed these folks as a society. The “alt-right” participants are almost anti-empathetic. All they feel is anger, and as a society we have not taught them how have empathy, or taught them the complex and racist history of this country.
Now, this country has an amazing history that is much broader than racism and genocide, but it is deceptive to skip over the fact that most of our continental-spanning economy and infrastructure was built on the backs of slaves, immigrants, and indentured-servants. And I am talking about from the beginning. To say that these were the “good old days” is beyond the pale.
It is irresponsible to ignore the fact that we waged wars solely for the benefit of our corporations. We are still dealing with the ramifications of one of those in Iraq. Hell, we are dealing with the ramifications of the Banana Wars still, a hundred years later.
But, I have hope. I keep writing. I keep loving. I keep reading amazing poetry from ever-more diverse voices.
The faith that I have is in our fellow people in this country. So few of us are actually those assholes who march for white nationalism. My faith in my fellow Americans is that we will find a way forward, out of this mess. That we will continue to repudiate these shitheads and call our their racism directly, succinctly.
But I have faith that we will. And that in the future, those of us who want to continue moving this country forward will make every effort to be politically involved.
I have hope. So I continue to write new poems, I start this blog up again, I send poems out to publications, even after they’ve been rejected elsewhere.
Remember that refrain, when you’re feeling down. “Well it’s alright…”