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On my shoulder I have tattooed “To thy self be true”
But how to be true when you don’t know who is ‘you’?
They say don’t shoot yourself in the foot, it’s not worth it
Why cause such a scene over a moot point?
Thursday December 1st 1955… this silly chick Rosa Parks!
Why cause such a scene over a moot point?
Now it’s 2013 and the problems still here… you did all that for nothing, right?
You fight and you fight and you fight until you fall… just to have the general population call you crazy
But look into their eyes and you see the wear of years of inequality
It’s 2013 and I am… I mean was working in Brownsville, New York
It’s funny that its call BROWNSville because you see, 76.7% are Black or ‘African American’
A land where a whopping 29.9% of the population graduate high school and an astounding 8.4% have the privilege to have a bachelors degree or higher
And my dumb ass took on the job of teaching math at a high school that contrived the thought that we could take the kids that had fallen to the very bottom of this very broken system and help them to succeed past 8.4%
Why take on a job helping such moot people? They ask
If there is anything you can count on it’s this… People are waiting for you and them to repeat the cycle and fail, with criticisms and ‘I told you so’s’… Because you had the audacity to try to better the lives of others instead of yourself
“They don’t want to learn, they are ungrateful” the masses will say “They just want to leach off my tax pay”
How dare them, right?!? These assholes have the nerve to feel suppressed and depressed after they were born into such a beautiful reality
Exactly my thoughts when I walk by the day care at the high school I taught at full of my kids babies and when I listen to one of my student stand tall and read a poem about her rape and abuse as she holds her belly where her first child resides
It’s just easier to focus on the things that they take from us
Us people who had access to none gun soaked streets, contemplating invitations to birthday parties with promises of fun with our fellow people instead of gang ‘invitations’ with promises of ‘fun’ with our ‘fellow’ people
Us people who love to buy Halloween costumes, with pay checks smaller due to the leaches, damn them! While in Brownsville the people take cover from the ‘festivities’
It’s a problem people say, we need to do something people say, preaching that if only these kids cared maybe the statistics would change.
Pardon me but…
Shut the fuck up and say something
We dance around these issues, choosing to stay blind… with societial promises of ‘happiness’ keeping us all focused on our own grind
There are few people who choose to see it and move forward with a helping hand
……with mounds of support and cheers
Excuse me while I catch this fountain of condensation flowing out of my mouth so that I can later use it to quench my dying thirst of this ever loudening silence.
“It was your job to teach them math and to be able to control your classroom and you couldn’t do that…. It is no fault but your own”
“I do not wish to sit and listen to these excuses, tons of teachers are working in these same situations”
Under my eyes drowning in tears I picture my student’s smile as he preps a blunt during my lesson on combining like terms, his eyes saying you don’t know my life, and his record telling his story of a less than beautiful reality that he has relished in his whole life.
And at that moment I wished I had his ‘fuck what you think’ attitude.
It’s usually not until you are exposed and left out in the cold with nothing left that you are willing to be honest.
That is what I love most about my kids; they are brutally honest about you, the school, and the world in which we live in.
If you are put into a room and starved until near death and then a person walks in with a meal, I ask…. What are you going to do?
Human nature…. It’s a silly thing.
It’s so shocking when the people in these communities use and use and use the people that come to help them, Where is the appreciation people… right?
It’s excruciatingly painful to put yourself out there but magnificently rewarding at the same time.
My cries are long and heavy but my smiles are radiating with pure joy
It’s not until you come to the realization that it’s ‘you’
‘You’ have hopes and dreams and empathy in bounds accompanied by sadness, worry, and fear
Until you give yourself permission to have emotions and to be honest about the world
….but then you remember that it is the impoverished, the ‘crazy’, and assassinated that are the most honest
And so what do you do?
….You keep fighting
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