Today, I feature the lovely, effervescent, and talented, Anita Scott.
Chicago Poetry slam event (she performed “Mary Go Round” – see link below to watch)
and her family background and education.
Her spiritual formation and rediscovery of her faith as an adult.
Deciding who you want to be.
Bringing poetry into the classroom.
The role of the arts during times of trouble (including the current racial tension and tragic recent event like the slaying of police officers in Dallas)
Anita’s thoughts about seeing racial violence and violence against police unfold right in front of her in her own hometown.
Nothing will get back to order if there is no justice.
What the arts can do for the issue of Justice.
Performing poetry that relates to racial and social justice issues–now seems even more powerful.
It’s hard to look for a good laugh
when so many of our channels expose the madness
of what seems to be consistent harassment
of what some might call . . .
How do you converse and talk about
videos and uploads from people on their walk about
showing millions and millions what to gasp about
because honestly to see so many videos about . . .
Well, that might be where we get stuck
or unable to label true stories or fables
either over dinner or all too often under the table
dealing with people who . . .
Well that might make things sticky
when hearing only one side of a story sure makes things iffy
and so we are left with a tricky . . .
What is race?
And is that the question?
Or what is racism
and is that the conglomeration of too many. . . swirling in one population
with too many nationalities, ethnicities in one or several locations?
Again, is that the question?
I watched videos of the recent incidents
and no lie, I felt completely absent from joy
and completely different from indifference
but also distant from revenge or payback.
I honestly felt more under attack
not from a color, but from a sin
something within every human
and because we are fallen
we lack the courage to say what C.S. Lewis so eloquently expressed:
“We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”
Isn’t that utterly ridiculous and even senseless?
But, oh dear friends, he is speaking to our present day existence.
We take Jesus out of schools
and are stupid enough to demand and look for values.
We sanction abortion,
but lock up thieves.
We “Hooray!” same sex marriages
and question why little boys and little girls struggle with identity.
We laugh and mock politicians,
but stay out of the polls
and then when we turn on the tv,
we have the audacity to ask, “What is going on?”
So is that the question?
What channel should I watch just to get away from this humiliating madness?
What channel can I view to escape the constant harassment?
To be honest, friends,
when I watch these videos again and again,
I fall to my knees in utter repentance
because I start to see color when I see brutality.
I start to see race when I see crimes against humanity.
And I only feel that way when I lack the courage to say these words from Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
“Judging others makes us blind whereas love is illuminating.”
Then no wonder we can’t see.
Our judgements have burned down these cities
and we wrestle all night
wondering who and what color will be the victim of our fights
like 2 wrongs ever made a . . .
Mother Theresa smiled and said, “God will ask, ‘How much love did you put into what you did?”
Is that the question?
That question will expose the reality in our hearts
as we 60-mile-an-hour brick through windows
hoping that will cover up the anger and grief in our souls
and so we submit to temporary exhilarations
contributing to an ongoing deviation
of how not to deal with a systemic situation
as we watch those bricks shatter bank accounts
but do we even take into account
the morning after the one night stand
when fumes consume the inability to resume
the life we presume or desired.
I have a question because I can’t put out this fire:
How do unjust deaths lead to grocery buggies with flat screen tvs
car trunks with microwaves and DVD players?
Yeah! I’m a hater.
What are we doing and what have we done?
We’re teaching a younger generation that sin has a color
and revenge is the other route to avenge
and we’re letting them grow up with another lie.
Why are we quiet?
If we choose to send a message of silence
we are inevitably advocating the violence.
It’s hard to see through the anger in our hearts,
the unforgiveness in our carts,
Add to cart
the grudges in our cart
Add to cart
the vindictive actions that tasted sweet but only backwash tart
Add to cart
Some of us need to check in and ask yet again “What is the question?”
What can we do to get away from this stench of sin covered in revenge
covered in avenge someone’s death.
Our plight has us fight against skin,
but the only real fight is the one against sin,
but how do you fight a force you can’t grab, you can’t choke?
Is that why we burn down buildings because at least with smoke
we can see the ruin of our demise
and yet even when I close my eyes
I can’t shut out or shout out the images inside.
I’ve already seen them – the punches, the chokeholds, the funeral and in these last days my brothers and sisters, get ready for more turmoil.
All men sin and fall short;
that’s nothing new to report
accept with that terse verse feel free to rehearse your own shortcomings.
May not have involved a chokehold or a gun
but a sin is a sin, and in the end,
we all desperately need repentance.
Isn’t that the question?
Having conversations about privilege.
Telling our stories and making sure the friends and connections you have are very diverse.
Making adjustments to deal with the events of the summer.