Sand In My Face

I was confused today by the use of “us” and “them.”
The polarizing use of pronouns came as I relaxed,
Watching waves come in and out
While my heart rate settled into a super slow calm.

Further discussion continued to cause greater dismay
When questions about “ours” and “theirs”
Started being floated as I felt the sting of a social ocean breeze
Supercharged by defensive, albeit subtle, reverse racism claims.

Disappointment burned my skin, my thoughts, my heart
For I never expected to be having that kind of conversation
On vacation, with the people I was with, on the side I was on,
Which was nearly alone, my words floating like foam in a Nor’easter.

I find the victim mentality of cultural being to be insulting for all,
Erasure culture doesn’t work either, although, as my daughter said,
“There aren’t any statues of Hitler in Germany.”
So maybe the hateful in history are getting their just deserts as statues.

History should not be erased, it should be studied,
All my Social Studies classes said we studied history,
“To learn from our mistakes.” Racism, classism, zealots, dictators…
It seemed from our conversation that WE aren’t learning.

I know because people I listen to talk of loss,
Loss of their culture, status, or worth, misguided thoughts on statues,
While muddying the dialogue with stuff learned in incomplete schooling
Or from the last “breaking news” or trending post.

How do we take the hatred back from personal pronouns?
How do we teach people to be tolerant?
How do we get people to understand what has happened outside of “theirs?”
Be the waves and just keep coming with tolerance and acceptance…

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