Smog, Balance, Afraid

People fought for me to speak and not be persecuted

They fought for every opinion to be safe to hang in the air of this country

But instead it simply binds with the smog

For those who disagree to shove down my throat

Make me choke on my words and regret inflicting them on my surrounding oxygen

We seem to have lost our grip on the purpose of education

This was to balance understanding for many different perspectives

I hear, “I’m sorry miss but I can only give you so high a grade

When you don’t seem to understand what I’ve been saying”

They’re scared of not getting their way

But are too weak to argue their point of view

So they use violence to compensate

We are in an undeclared civil war

We are supposed to be ashamed of being American; patriotism is now seen as a threat

“But hey, think of it from their perspective; think about how it must have made them feel”

You didn’t seem to think about others’ feelings when the conservative man got assaulted

When the white man was held hostage simply for the color of his skin

As told in a story to be skimmed through then forgotten

The innocent are told that they owe reparations for wrongs they didn’t commit

That they deserve the pain and suffering that would be unable to be forgiven

If it were happening to someone else

And I can’t specify what I mean by someone else

Compassion has been replaced by desperate attempts at validation

Because inside we all are screaming to belong somewhere, we all crave an identity

And that is how some of us find their place, taking ownership of debts

That may be impossible to ever truly possess

Right now, as a country, we are lost

Fear has taken hold of us like a virus

Crippling us from the inside out

Preventing us from further research, from truly healing those of us who grew up in destruction

Who find solace in nothing besides violence and drugs

Because we don’t want to offend

So instead we pretend that we’re working diligently until somebody is buried

Till it’s time to get on TV and talk about how things are going to change

They all know it’s a lie but there’s simply too much on the line

Can’t do something as dangerous as calling a problem what it is

We were intended to be free but we no longer are

The label that once shared the label as our emancipators

Now seeks to frighten us into submission by tearing us apart

Destroying what we’ve earned and what we hope to gain

By feeding us lies about why we should be ashamed

And if it still doesn’t sink in, they’ll use guns, knives and fists

Extinguishing evil is their claimed motivation

Instead of true justice they get sympathy from those supposed to keep us safe

Because that’s what happens inside a country that’s afraid



This poem is about: 
My community
My country
Our world


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741