New Poem: Defining Deserve

berry gordy

I have a lot to say about the whole Kanye v. Beck affair. I may write a lengthier essay on white privilege and white supremacy and how they factor into attitudes about the whole thing, but for now I will let this poem speak for me. I am sure there will be those who will take the last stanza and try to make some comment about affirmative action based on it. I would advise against that.

Defining Deserve

What must it have been like,
some fifty years ago,
sitting in Berry Gordy’s presence,
wondering if he would make you a star,
learning how hard he would make you work
to reach those heights?

What must it be like now,
some fifty years later,
sitting in the audience or at home,
watching some skinny, pale boy,
with a career made on goofing off,
carry home the trophy?

What must it be like always,
fifty years or five hundred,
to know that your child’s excellence,
her hard work and perseverance,
will never be treated equal to
your neighbor’s child’s mediocrity?

What will it be like
some fifty or five hundred years from now,
when we no longer have that crutch to lean on,
when we are no longer afraid to be without it,
and have finally learned to stand,
on our own merits?


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