Category Archives: Politics

Haiku Selection: My Own Complicity

Since Joe Biden’s win of the presidency was projected last Saturday, it’s been really easy to spend endless hours Twitter-dunking on Trump Nation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad Trump lost. I’m also not advocating this trending B.S. of reaching out to better understand Trump supporters. Even if I wanted to do that, I can’t as a practical matter. I’m still processing the trauma of knowing in stark quantitative terms that a LOT of people are cooI with government actions and policies that foster racism, misogyny and cruelty for reasons that don’t matter to me.

What I am advocating – including among those of us who voted for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris – is taking time to reflect on how each of us personally accommodates the social status quo. For example, I looked at my daughter the other day and wondered what skills I’ve already passed on to help her thrive in a white supremacy paradigm. Have I showed her how to cater to white fragility at the expense of her own humanity? My husband and I just want her to be able to succeed, mess up, mess up some more, learn and just go through her life without her skin color being so toxically and needlessly determinative. That will require a new mindset and skills I’m just beginning to acquire myself as I pivot from being a master of code-switching. Then again, instead of trying to be a better blueprint for my daughter, maybe I should learn from her and help her natural confidence and joy flourish unbridled. Definitely a worthier endeavor than Twitter-dunking.

The “racist” label
Tends to distract from the acts
That prompt the label

[BlackGirlHaiku0034/Some date in 2018]

They voted for Trump
A second term undeserved
Now they are proof points

[BlackGirlHaiku0033/November 8, 2020]

Those Black “lesser-than’s”
May be fueling your self-worth
More than you realize

[BlackGirlHaiku0037/November 15, 2020]

Haiku Selection: Another Intense Month

September 2020 certainly hasn’t disappointed in delivering a whole slew of soul-shifting, emotional gut-punches in rapid succession. We saw Mitch McConnell shamelessly announce, on the very night that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died, a hypocritical power play to fill her seat less than two months before the presidential election. We then witnessed the Kentucky Attorney General display his prosecutorial ineptitude and prioritize his personal need for white acceptance over all else, including things like his own dignity and the Kentucky police needlessly killing Breonna Taylor while she committed the dangerous act of sleeping in her home.

As we mourned the death of Justice Ginsburg, the U.S. also passed the grim milestone of more than 200,000 people dead from COVID-19 in just about six months. Earlier this year, when epidemiological experts published low-end estimates of a quarter million COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. by year’s end, I remember feeling stunned and numb because I couldn’t get my head around the enormity of that many people dying in that amount of time. I still can’t comprehend that we have, in fact, lost more than 203,000 Americans to COVID-19 and nearly a million world-wide as of the date of this post. Although the last two haiku selections featured below are from 2017, after my Dad passed away, they feel appropriate to share now.

Poems in and of themselves can’t undo the damage or trauma of systemic racism or end a pandemic. They can, however, offer a way to practice actually feeling what’s happening instead of falling into numbness, or into yet another bag of chips or other inflammation-inducing, human-created comfort foods that many of us used to avoid pre-pandemic.

A few timely haiku as we all work to process another intense month.
(Check out POEMS for more Black Girl Haiku)

Breonna Taylor,
I wish Kentucky’s AG
Cared about your life.

[BlackGirlHaiku0001/September 6, 2020]

The heavy days are
When I get it wrong on the
Serenity prayer

[BlackGirlHaiku0006/September 13, 2020]

Bill Barr called slavery
“A different kind of restraint”
Cruelty is the point

[BlackGirlHaiku0009/September 17, 2020]

So, Daniel Cameron
Had Mitch at his wedding. So,
It all makes sense now

[BlackGirlHaiku0019/September 23, 2020]

RBG’s best trait:
She always used her privilege
To lift people up

[BlackGirlHaiku0021/September 23, 2020]

You were improving
Until you were not and then
You were gone from us

[BlackGirlHaiku0023/October 2017]

Dad’s final moments
Peaceful transition beyond
My comprehension

[BlackGirlHaiku0024/October 2017]

September marks the unofficial end of summer; so bittersweet.

GRATITUDE
Quarantine keeps me
Closer in proximity
To my sense of self

REFLECTION
After time away
I can see I was being
Way too serious

HEALTH
The doctor postponed
My annual checkup which
Gives me more prep time

NATURE
The cranberry bogs
It takes a full year of work
For them to bear fruit

HUMOR
I must thank Donald
Before him, folks were thinking
“We solved racism!”

JUSTICE
Breonna Taylor.
I wish Kentucky’s AG
Cared about her life.