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January 23, 2021

 

Not Equal Enough

 

we praise equality

decry discrimination

rightly so

to let difference define

is evil

to let unsameness separate

is evil

to hold them down for not being us

is evil

 

yet equality is elusive

evades our best efforts

it escapes honours stage

even as honours peal

 

equality will never be equal

as long as we continue to say

of them

“They are the first …”

… insert their difference here …

“… to achieve this honour”

and making us sound so condescending

at their very moment of glory

it is sickening

could even be evil

 

how equal can we be

if we keep dragging their difference

with them to their stage

 


 

I was reading about Amanda Gorman this morning, the woman whos poem “The Hill We Climb” is receiving well deserved and universal accolades, and came across this description of her as a person:

 

“Gorman is a Black Catholic, a member of St. Brigid Church in her hometown of Los Angeles.”

 

Thats it.

 

That she is black and that she is Christian.

 

Amanda Gorman is at this moment among the worlds more famous people and all that could be said about her is that she is a “Black Catholic”? How equal can we truly be if we continue to draw attention to what might make us different?

 

Amanda Gorman is a person. She is a woman. She is a poet. She has greater renown than almost everyone talking about her. Her presence made more bright an already brilliant day.

 

That, and much, much more is what should have been said about her.

 

The sameness, not the difference.

 

That which makes us equals.

 


Not Equal Enough
A poem by Peter Rhebergen

Copyright 2021

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