Posts Tagged ‘prejudice

09
Dec
15

Thoughts for the day … or night

Yellow star girl

My question for the day

The question

Observing myself sitting in a coal shoot

Quite certain of my purpose

Nazi hunter extraordinaire

Escape artist

Protector

Behind the lines

How a nine year old contented herself with gas chambers

With the mechanization of death by the train load

With row upon neat row of statistics

Glaring when the boy from 319 shouted out from across the street that the next stop was the ovens

 

Are yellow stars a visible manifestation?

As if sewn on a coat means sewn on one’s heart

Every pulse

Every throb of the blood a comingling of little yellow star shaped leukocytes and hemoglobin cells that tattoos the soul as so many yellow star shaped numbers on one’s forearm

 

My daughter

A yellow starred half of me

Which makes her a yellow starred quarter of my mother and one sixteenth of my father

What is she?

Is she 5/16ths yellow star genes?

Or is the old adage—

The “you never know who the father is”

So that it isn’t so much blood

Isn’t so much what her DNA picture looks like

But the perception of the yellow stars on her forearm that invites a boy—any boy—

To shout out that it is her turn to march towards the ovens

To glean in an instant her 5/16ths

Her yellow star portion of the DNA pie

But maybe only Bergen/Belson for her and the cold, perpetually winterish shops of slave labor

Her facial features measured

Her blue eyes with yellow and grey undertones classified against an eye chart

The hmmm, not pure tsk that screams out yellow star, yellow star

Her dark blond hair shorn and thrown haphazardly into a pile

Her smile banished to another dimension

Her sadness gripping and overwhelming and yet tempered by a day-to-day life that might bring a simple kindness to remind her of what could be if only she perseveres

 

Yes, yes, little yellow starred one or green crescent one because, after all we are here now

Yes, yes little Yazidi girl with Christian blue eyes that tattoo her as fodder for the market—

No cooler to shelter her

No retreat anywhere

No other side of the street where she can stand menacingly tall with an “I dare you to cross” scowl that would frighten the boy shouting this way to the ovens enough to only dare bully her from afar

With no gun to embolden

No shiny SS bars or Caliphate’s black and white banner from which he could cross that street

No

When it would come to that one on one

Little yellow star girl and green crescent girl and Roma girl and Yazidi girl can stand tall and proud

And have super powers

And be brave

And stand her ground on her side of the street

Her dukes at the ready as it should be, but never is.

– Malissa Smith (c) 2015

 

22
Mar
12

How many more people have to die before we stop?

How many more people have to die before we stop?

Trayvon Martin's parents in New York City, Photo: John Minchillo/AP

The pain is etched on the faces of Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton.

Pain no parents should ever have to suffer.

Pain no one’s parents or friends or loved ones or fellow travelers should ever have to contend with at the hands of intolerance, bigotry and ignorance.

Trayvon Martin, AP Photo/Martin Family

The truth is I’m heartsick and angry and haunted by the senselessness of this young man’s death.  And for what?  Why does a young 17-year-old with nothing but promise ahead of him have to die?  What was so overwhelmingly fearful other than a perception of “otherness” that caused George Zimmerman to pull the trigger and snuff out this boy’s life?

And there’s the rub.

Trayvon Martin is a drop in the bucket of our daily diet of ridiculous death.  Just since his death on February 26th, we’ve lived through a free-for-all of senseless violence.  And if not for the color of someone’s skin or the shape of their hoodie, than for their religion or ethnicity or sexual orientation or gender or tribal allegiance or gang membership …. and the list goes on and on and on: our collective demonization of “otherness.”

A student being escorted from the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse on Monday after a horrific shooting. Photo: Jean-Philippe Arles/ReuterOur collective unabated demonization of the "other."

Here in America, it is in our daily diet of vitriol.

And yet it doesn’t stop here. Three days ago in France, a man opened fire in front of a Jewish school in Toulouse killing a religious teacher and three children, and leaving a 17-year-old boy in serious condition.

And today, if we comb the world’s papers we will find other instances of horror.

We will find that women have been killed for so-called “honor.”  We’ll learn that young men in Iraq have been tortured to death for wearing “emo” clothing.

The question is can we rise above our fears to say enough?

Can each of us rise up and shout down hatred and bigotry long enough to have it mean something?

I’d really had the hope that the long 20th Century of war upon war upon war would somehow liberate us enough to enter a period of tolerance.

Apparently I was wrong.

All that is truly left us is our ability to shout E-N-O-U-G-H.

 

 

 




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© Malissa Smith and Girlboxing, 2010-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Malissa Smith and Girlboxing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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