Finalists Being Selected For America: Color It In!

A reminder that my piece – White Washed – was accepted for the contest and it has received 42 votes so far! They will announce the finalists on September 4th so if you wanted to vote for me and just haven’t gotten around to it, do it soon! Please and thank you! 🙂

Juneteenth 2020

a celebration to end slavery
and yet
the shackles remained
white hearts in fear
with attitudes of evil

jim crow laws
lynchings
no coloreds allowed, whites only
separate but equal
mass incarceration
systemic racism
police brutality

four hundred years as kept
one hundred fifty years lied to
is 2020 the year a promise realized
freedom a reality for the minority
so cruelly enslaved in various ways
will prejudices finally be put aside

will we finally be humane?

Open Spaces, Small Minds

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Welcome to the majestic openness of the plains! Miles upon miles of precious soils producing bountiful agriculture which feeds the world. It’s truly an American mecca. Impressively grand and yet serene upon observation.

I fell in love with it when I landed here long ago. No one can help being pulled in by it, except maybe diehard city-streets-in-their-bones kinda people. But it didn’t take long for the bright and shiny newness of feeling like home to lose its luster. That distinct Midwest state of mind presented itself harshly and managed to detract from all the good about it. You’ll quickly pick up on the Midwest mindset, it’s predominantly of a conservative bent.

Basically, sweet as pie to your face as long as you vote red and go to church, righteous indignation otherwise.

What our family encountered here in the good ‘ole Bible Belt felt like a bait and switch scheme. “Welcome to the neighborhood,” enjoy the scenery, we’re all family, we have traditional values, and it’s like heaven on earth! How can anyone not appreciate all it has to offer? I guess it was the persistent condemnation of my unlike-mind soon after the move here.

Liberals don’t fare well in this area who are open to challenging and/or discarding traditional values when appropriate. You know, those values of bigotry, racism, homophobia that most unlike-minds understand have no place in a civilized society.

Being liberal is being concerned with broadening knowledge and experience, and realizing that progressive ideas have a place in a modern world.

That is frowned upon here.

The narrow viewpoints of the conservatives are spewed (and applauded) in everyday conversations, public forums, and informal conversations without generally any regard for the insensitivity they project. They slap each other on the back for their original – cough, cough – regurgitated thoughts. So proud of their wit and understanding of things. Shame they don’t even realize how ignorant they sound.  Their alleged values resemble nothing remotely moral. People who aren’t like these middle Americans are critiqued, criticized and humiliated. We’d call that bullying; they’d consider it their natural charm.

I realize this may all sound harsh and critical, it’s intended to be.  But I will not paint the entirety of the Midwest with this blanket as the standard of behavior. There are some really decent people I have encountered. I’ve been very fortunate to find those loving, caring, and open-minded ones.

But they are rare in this belt of red and holier-than-thou.