Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25: Jesus and Bernie, Terrance Hayes, "What I Am"

You know, I have been following the presidential race in the United States with quite a bit of fear.  Donald Trump is frighteningly close to being a candidate for President of the United States.  If not Trump, then Ted Cruz (who is a quieter, sneakier version of Donald Trump).

I have never hidden my politics in this blog.  I find any candidate who runs on a platform that belittles or disenfranchises people a little, well, reprehensible.  Donald Trump wants to send all immigrants back where they came from (much the same way that he expels any person from his rallies who disagrees with him--shouting, "Get 'em out of here!").  Ted Cruz doesn't want to build a wall along our Southern border, but he's not overly fond of illegal immigrants, either.

Yesterday, at my wife's church, I was reminded by a visiting speaker that God's commandments can basically be summed up in two statements:  1) love God, and 2) love your neighbor.

That's pretty simple.  God doesn't say love everyone EXCEPT illegal immigrants or transgender people.  God doesn't exclude people.  Neither did Jesus.  In fact, I think Jesus went out of His way to have dinner with prostitutes and thieves and tax collectors.  Jesus sought out the disenfranchised.

I think that Donald Trump would probably kick Jesus out of one of his campaign rallies, because Jesus would probably be wearing a Bernie Sanders button on his robe.

The Poet of the Week knows a little bit about disenfranchisement.  His name is Terrance Hayes, and he has won all kinds of awards, including a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship (that's a Genius Grant, if you didn't know).  He's a young African American poet who provides a necessary voice for people who are overlooked and underestimated.

Saint Marty thinks Terrance Hayes wouldn't last very long in a Donald Trump rally, either.

What I Am

by:  Terrance Hayes

Fred Sanford’s on at 12
& I’m standing in the express lane (cash only)
about to buy Head & Shoulders
the white people shampoo, no one knows
what I am. My name could be Lamont.
George Clinton wears colors like Toucan Sam,
the Froot Loop pelican. Follow your nose,
he says. But I have no nose, no mouth,
so you tell me what’s good, what’s god,
what’s funky. When I stop
by McDonalds for a cheeseburger, no one
suspects what I am. I smile at Ronald’s poster,
perpetual grin behind the pissed-off, fly-girl
cashier I love. Where are my goddamn fries?
Ain’t I American? I never say, Niggaz
in my poems. My ancestors didn’t
emigrate. Why would anyone leave
their native land? I’m thinking about shooting
some hoop later on. I’ll dunk on everyone
of those niggaz. They have no idea
what I am. I might be the next Jordan
god. They don’t know if Toni Morrison
is a woman or a man. Michael Jackson
is the biggest name in showbiz. Mamma se 
Mamma sa mamma ku sa, sang the Bushmen 
in Africa. I’ll buy a dimebag after the game, 
me & Jody. He says, Fuck them white people 
at work, Man. He was an All-American 
in high school. He’s cool, but he don’t know 
what I am, & so what. Fred Sanford’s on 
in a few & I got the dandruff-free head 
& shoulders of white people & a cheeseburger 
belly & a Thriller CD & Nike high tops 
& slavery’s dead & the TV’s my daddy-- 
   You big Dummy!
Fred tells Lamont.

Donald, you big dummy!!!

1 comment:

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