71. Untitled

Author: Darrah O’Flaherty, First Year

My blood mixes with sweat creating an impure amalgamation as it deliberately rolls down the creases of my face
This is a white mans’ justice

My children weep and whine with open mouths and empty stomachs
This is a white persons justice

My slender body resembles that of a zebra, but my back is striped with red not black
This is a white mans’ justice

The placid expression on my face betrays every emotion that has ever pulsed through my veins
Pain, Loneliness, Desperation
This is a white mans’ justice

I can feel the greedy eyes of my master drifting over my haggard, sweat-covered body
This is a white mans’ justice

Songs about following the dipper dance their way into my awaiting ear
My feet are anguished and my swollen legs can move no farther
The well-worn path to freedom is no mine to take today
This is a white mans’ justice

A white mans’ justice is not my justice.

Social Justice and Humans Rights is a topic so broad and close to my heart that I found addressing all aspects of it to be an insurmountable task. While reading my original poem I ask that you remember this poem acknowledges only one social justice issue which I happened to study heavily in my high school years, slavery. However, the message remains preeminent for all human rights topics: our cultural and demographic lenses through which we view the world allow for many different definitions of the word justice. To avoid the mistreatment of others it is crucial to understand others perspectives and learn from the discrepancies.

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