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Turning a Blind Eye

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You’ll close your eyes
against the world
you’ll put your back to it
you’ll ignore the cruelty
raging beyond the confines
of your safe ignorance
you’ll live a mundane life
never pausing to consider
the scars
on the face of society
never making an effort
to push the human race forward
or defeat the discrimination that
seeps into everything
like toxic gas
you’ll have a secure, conventional job
you’ll marry someone who is as blind to issues
as you are
you’ll read your children bedtime stories
about utopian worlds
brimming with fairies and unicorns and innocence
smattered with morals and blithe, happy endings
that agree with your idea
of how the world is
and you’ll glide blissfully through the decades
while people slaughter each other
on the battlefield
while they smother infant girls with ashes
because they are female
while they threaten the life
of the first black president
of the United States
while they shoot a young Pakistani girl through the skull
because she exercised her right
to an education
while they try to silence the voices of all those
fighting for a better world.
Maybe you’ll understand your mistake
one day
when you realize that
you refused to listen to their tragic, roaring
cry for help
or lifted a single finger
to alleviate any human suffering
maybe you’ll see
that your deliberate ignorance
has made you repulsive,
more revolting than even
the most cold blooded villain,
because you knew
in the deepest crevices of your mind that
so many people needed your help
but you did nothing
and you were okay with that




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