The Color of Melania's Plagiarism

July 26, 2016

Two hundred years ago men and women with skin as light as mine
Sold and mangled bodies much darker.
Sometimes it doesn’t feel like much has changed.
Two years ago an officer with skin as light as mine
Ripped the life away from a boy much darker.
I don’t have enough pale fingers on my hands to count how many it times it’s happened before and since.
Two years ago a public school teacher with skin as light as mine
Burned demeaning names through the skin of a girl much darker;
Names whose shadows are cast across my history books and
Still titter on the tapping of my twitter feed.
Two months ago a boy with skin as light as mine
Tried to drown the worth of populations much darker.
I cannot measure the speed at which racist lies can fly when sent emitting blue light.
Two months ago a man with skin as light as mine
Used his hateful rhetoric against people much darker;
Igniting a fire in the belly of White America,
Adding gas to the flame of an already-lit match.
Two days ago a woman with skin as light as mine
stole the words from the mouth of a woman much darker.
I could go on, though this poem is dancing toward the edge of superficial.
I am not latino or muslim or asian or black.
And my light skin is a bulletproof vest.
At night I wake to the ricochet of bullets piercing skin much darker.
If other skin comes stained with factless bigotry and assumptions,
Then why doesn’t mine come stained with the bones of the innocent?
The same bones who have to fight for visibility,
The same bones who fought in our country’s revolution.
But, revolution is just a fancy word for circle and
If you revolve around something enough times
you are bound to notice its fundamental flaws,
Flaws you ignore.
Flaws bound to persist unless
you pause in your rotating and fix them.
Right now we are spinning so fast that
I’m dizzy and
Maybe that is why
Racial justice is so blurry.

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