Tag Archives: prejudice

Be Free

The tighter a country wraps itself in its flag

The more it becomes constricted

Unable to see the rest of the world clearly

Nationhood is less about freedom and more about control

No matter what any constitution or zealot patriot might say

Countries and all our multi-layered levels of governance

Keep people in virtual feedlots

Penned in by ideas and concepts that overlay reality

In our shared delusion of civility

Look at the absurd lengths we go to

Interrupting each others smooth glide

By creating complex rules and imaginary lines

Which at their core only exist inside our minds

Now, storm troop clerics have returned

Like old testament prophets

Calling for retribution and revenge

 

Binary thinkers are the death of the rest of us

Auditing beliefs and creative thoughts

Against a template of hate and bitterness

All those angry faces calling for compliance

Fall into line!

Fall into line, they say

Judging everyone

Harshly critical about every action

Every reaction

So we dance these complex dances of bizarre ritual

Looking about as civilized as an ant colony

To our visitors from beyond

You know who I’m talking about

They must be quite amused

At faith-based hatred that legitimizes torture and murder

As we go around killing one another over ideas

Borders

Morality

Sexual inclination

Racism

Prejudice

Which pleasures are allowed and which aren’t

Ideas that have no physical presence in this plane of existence

But manage to keep us nose to grindstone

Brown-nosed and beaten

Through passive acceptance of the status quo

Instead of standing up and looking around

Making our own judgments about what’s in front of our eyes

Not behind them in some surreal zeitgeist

Informed by myths and legends long since twisted into barbarity

Anyone can choose to see clearly

If you want to

 

Be free

Be free enough to look at a field without mentally imposing

Some line running across it like an impenetrable force field

Be free to see things as they are

Not how you’ve been conditioned to think they are

Be free

Be free to see reality

Look at the stars

Let go of control

Let go of everything

Be free

 

 

David Trudel  ©  2013

 

 

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Nostalgia

I don’t miss the racism

When I think about the past

Sure I’m nostalgic for the good old days

But they weren’t all good and golden

We taunted everyone back then

Watercooler jokes bit deep

Certain nationalities were pilloried with regularity

Enough to fill a Polish suitcase

And god help the brown skinned

So we would shout paki or camel jockey slurs

Across schoolyards or cafes

Not caring that we cut to the quick with meanspirited ignorance

So blind to our transgressions that we would point fingers

At South Africa or the deep south and decry the bigotry there

Self righteously proclaiming our innocence

Only because an African heritage was rare in our tarnished world

I don’t miss the bad cooking

When the Joy of Cooking was the only book in the kitchen

We boiled and stewed the same plain foods into daily submission

Thinking salt and pepper were the only spices necessary against bland

And if we watched Julia Child with amusement

It would be a rare day that her recipes would end up on the table

I am not nostalgic for the constant smoking

Blue hazed offices where each desk held overflowing ashtrays ad nauseum

And parking lots being used as garbage cans

Drivers upturning car ashtrays into shared space

Cigarette butts a constant presence carpeting our walks

More prevalent than the flowers we couldn’t smell over the stench

I am not nostalgic for misogyny

Which sadly hasn’t gone away entirely

I don’t miss the catcalling taunts or times

When every man or boy felt dutybound to visually strip each female in view

Giving free rein to saddle romping fantasies

Those times when stereotypes were a given and not questioned

I don’t miss the hidden abuse

Open secrets never spoken of

Bruises that flowered unquestioned

Times when silence was permission to continue the violence

I am not nostalgic for pesticides that we sprayed with abandon

Not caring that the green lawns and flower borders

We so blindly protected were an artificial construct of oppression

I don’t miss polyester double knit suits

That never wore out but should have

I don’t miss blue rinsed big hair

Buzzcuts or ducktailed tops

I am not nostalgic for the pain of the repressed

Or laws that forced love into closets

Or into the bloodstained offices of back alley butchers

I don’t miss ignorant hatred

How can I, it still exists

But the next time somebody celebrates forgotten freedoms

Of a golden past

I’ll take up a knife and scratch the gilt off

To expose the brass

 

 

David Trudel   ©  2013

 

 

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I’m not this but you’re that

Isn’t it funny how people make declarative statements like “I’m not prejudiced” or “I’m not judgmental” and then they go ahead and make a prejudicial remark or are quick to judgment, based on the socio-cultural norms in which they’re embedded.  It is extremely hard not to be affected by the attitudes of those around us and when an entire culture is based on hardwired rules and standards that self-impose a particular worldview, it is almost impossible to stand apart and see each circumstance or person for what or who they really are.

 

 

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Instead

There is no normal

People talk about it though

We classify and stratify endlessly

Micro to macro

All this sorting and sifting

Makes us forget that everything

Is extraordinary and unique

A pathway to the universe

When you find the trail

But in our parochial patriotism

Prejudice becomes the paradigm

We say this group of people

Are normal

And that group of people

Isn’t

No wonder Dr. Seuss had such a long career

We make such great material

People, every single one of us

Are special

We all have different abilities

Talents

Capacity

Attitudes

So let’s not say normal but

Differently abled, all included

Instead

Give up bigotry, racism, prejudice, and misogyny

Instead

Let’s try equality

 

 

David Trudel  © 2012

 

 

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