Local Talk

Back in 1927
Some professors
Had the audacity
To be critical of the government.
Local patriots, defenders of the flag,
Took issue, lobbying the college’s principal
For the removal
Of the educational subversives.
The pressure too much,
The administrator caved,
Setting the grounds for a controversy
That spread nationwide.

At issue was America’s occupation
Of another country,
Complete with Presidential assurances that this was
Necessary for the protection of U.S. business interests.
Which is hardly justification
Even if there is a perceived real danger to America, but
That didn’t seem to be the case
Way back then
In tiny Nicaragua.

A greater danger
Was the sanction,
Based entirely on the premise
That speech is only free
When it is accepted
By whoever
Wields the most power.
When those arbiters of Americanism
Prey on the caretakers of what is right
To make sure everyone speaks
According to their interpretation
Of our historic Declaration and supposed Constitution,
We have lost the spirit of who we should be.

Fortunately, the fired professor stood resolute,
Stubborn, some might say,
Moving on from the Normal School and
Down the road finding a home at Lincoln University
And continuing in his security
Of his trueness and moral constitution.

Talk changes little over time…

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