Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Poem about the "N" Word

What's in a Name
by Victoria Rowles

What’s in a name? The young student asked.
And why is the future connected to the past?
And why does that word that starts with a “N”,
Incite violence in the most peaceful of men?

The teacher looked perplexed and didn’t know where to begin,
To explain that word that starts with a “N”.
The dictionary seemed like a good place to start,
But it didn’t even touch upon the most important part.

How can a volume designed to define,
Words and phrases formed in the mind,
Give meaning to and take apart,
A concept of hate formed in the heart:

Of men who deny the humanity,
Of darker hued people who look like me.

Of men who believe that their lack of melanin,
Makes them pure and incapable of sin.

Of men who prayed and held Bibles in their hand,
While they raped and pillaged humanity’s motherland.

Of men who built empires, fortunes and fame,
By promoting a concept we mistakenly call: “a name”.

What’s in a name? The teacher asked.
And why is the future connected to the past?
And why does that word that starts with a “ N”.
Incite violence in the most peaceful of men?

The student tried to answer but he was a little confused.
So he stopped in mid-sentence and asked to be excused.
The teacher asked the student why he suddenly had to go.
At first the student looked down and said: “I don’t know”.
Then the student decided to reveal his newly made plans,
To go and study the history of all hue-mans.

What’s in a name?