Slam Poem: On Ignorance & Tolerance
I know I have to listen to you, but you have to listen to me.
I know that we are divided on our thoughts, we’re on opposite sides of the spectrum, we’re on different pages of the book of life, you see red, I see blue, but we all see white because that’s all there is to see.
Take off your headphones. I need you to listen to me.
Tolerance is like water. It’s needed to survive but it also goes in one ear and out the other.
Acceptance isn’t just towards the other 6 stripes on the flag that aren’t red with anger or bursting with flames because they get no say in this life.
The women whose necks hurt constantly from having to look up, up into that glass see-through ceiling that has cracks, and graffiti saying “We BROUGHT you into this world” but all you really brought into this world was hatred and superiority and more white and white and white to spread hate.
Tolerance and acceptance are coming up on the highway if you turn your windshield wipers on and drive a little faster to try to get out of the storm you can see it coming up on the horizon.
The storm, hailing down so hard that you can feel the snow burning on your arms and touching your cold, cold heart but not quite being as freezing as you.
In that raging storm, the sky is red the clouds are white and I am blue.
The sky is bringing down the blood of the people you’ve let go of, that are captive all the way up there.
You drowned them in your salt water, you made them bleed out everything they could have been.
And now every day the sky reminds us
Screams at us
That blood hailing down is to make us remember them.
But the clouds are white. They’re never going to change.
The clouds are the only silver lining in the sky. They’re the fluff that’ll never go away.
You could tell yourself that the whiteness of the clouds is good, but it just brings us more angry skies and blue people.
I am blue because the sky is red and the clouds are white and all of the color is gone.
Has the color faded yet? I can’t see a thing.
But it won’t ever stop raining.
Is the water raining down on us being tolerant?
Is the storm going to calm down to give us all a second to breathe?
Not if we don’t fight it.
You gotta go hard. I’m not talking fist-fighting I’m talking fighting with your mind.
Your mind is far away from the storm. The rain and the snow can’t get in there and hurt your mind.
Your mind is so much more powerful than you know.
Mind the gap.
Mind the gap between the end of the rain and the beginning of the sun.
And just drive.
You have to listen to me, you have to drive faster so that we can make it to the finish line because I just want to see the rainbow, there aren’t enough rainbows I have to find a rainbow that will shower me in yellow, green and purple and permeate my soul with happiness and love and extra extra extra color because that’s exactly what we need, we need more color and we need to be drenched in it because how else are we supposed to see and feel how other people live their lives?
Color is a pigment. Color is an idea, color is C O L O R it’s missing a U in it or a YOU as in YOU, YOU have to set aside your thoughts and learn to accept that more color is going to make us seem like the most beautiful rainbow in the world. Will that help your superiority?
Are you listening to me?
There are going to be plenty colored, and colorful flowers in this vast land of opportunity and picking them, picking ON them, forgetting to support them with the water they need to grow, the water that is like tolerance, that is needed to survive but cannot go in one ear and out the other because these colored, colorful flowers need to bloom so they can finally be tall enough to break that glass ceiling with their heads and get through that torrential storm with their minds, but YOU, you, are in their way because you’re those stripes on the flag that are nowhere near the rainbow on the horizon. You are those clouds that aren’t red enough.
I wish you could see that. Could you please take off your headphones and listen?
How long have you been wearing those headphones? Are they filling your ears with the music you want to hear? Are you satisfied with your choices of song?
Do they comfort you during the dark times and lift up your spirits like when the Syrian Civil War is happening and Assad is bombing and you’re listening to Imagine by John Lennon because you’re imagining what it would be like if there was no fighting happening in the world?
You’ll never hear the screams of newborn children being killed after nearly two minutes of being alive or their President ordering chemicals to raid their veins and kill them for having an opinion.
I want you to have an opinion and I want you to know that you won’t be hurt for it. Not here. Not in the land of red skies, white clouds, and blue people. At least just hear this. We need red people and blue skies. We need you to be angry about what you believe in. Red in the face angry. So angry that you just break that glass ceiling with all your might, and you turn on that bright light and you are never afraid to fight.
You listen to Imagine but that’s the only thing you really can do. Imagine.
Imagine you take off your headphones and start hearing the real world, and you notice that your neighbors are being murdered,
and you’re the only one left on the street because you’re so quiet, you blend in so well that everyone just leaves you alone because you have nothing to fight them for. You just spend your days choosing what songs you want to listen to and you apply those lyrics to your life in your lonely house with your blue family in your lonely neighborhood with your dead neighbors and your white clouds in your red sky and and dead colorful flowers that have been picked.
So please, for one minute, just take off the headphones.
And listen to me.