Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Issues Of Race

Issues of race aren't about race.
They're about money, property,
Who has it, who has plenty.
Who has power, good lawyers,
Who has plenty, who has little, none.

Who wouldn't want money, property,
Plenty of it, more coming in all the time,
Lawyers on retainer to protect it?

Issues of race are about class lines.
Who travels first class.
Who takes the bus. Who has to hoof it.
Who rides a bike in winter
To carry groceries from the Korean store.

Race is an arbitrary distinction.

Might as well make all red-headed people poor,
Blame it on Howdy Doody freckles, Jughead ears.

There is one race, the human race.
The gene for red hair, the gene for black skin,
There is less that separates us genetically
Than identifies us with one another.

There is no black race. There is the human race.
There are poor people from the agrarian South.
There are refugees from the South in urban ghettos.
Their dark skin no more defines them
Than your suit bought on sale defines you.

There is, in us all, the human brain,
The human spirit, the common hopes of our race.

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