To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington I offer up this poem I wrote awhile back.
Yid, Kyke, Injun, Mick,
Wop, Dago, Guido, Spic,
Slope, Ruskie, Kraut, Frog, Beaner, Polack,
Curry Muncher, Hymie, Rice Eater, Wet Back,
Nigger, Chink, Hop-Sing, Shenney, Camel Jockey, Zipper Head,
Gook, Nip, Sambo, Half-Breed, Queer, Faggot and Rag Head.
Pretty vile terms for most
but Betty’s daily language.
She just needed someone
to blame for her failures.
Her racist language and hate
drove away a husband
and her daughter Anna
refused to let
near her anymore.
Anna had barely survived
growing up in such
a racist household
she certainly wasn’t going to expose
her children to such verbal poison.
Being consumed with so much hate
took its toll on Betty’s health.
One’s brain and heart eventually fail
when force-fed so many toxins.
Betty’s family wanted no part of her so
she ended up in the county nursing home.
The irony is now the only ones
who daily talk to her
and give her comfort
are a black nurse
named Helen who
works the day shift,
a Hispanic nurse
named, Lupita who
works afternoon turn
and Tom a gay nurse
on midnight turn.
The Roots: “Can’t Turn Me Around” (Civil Rights Song)
The Impressions: “People Get Ready”
“At the heart of racism is the religious assertion that God made a creative mistake when He brought some people into being.” – Friedrich Otto Hertz