Raised to Love

Sun, 03/17/2013 - 14:11 -- Asheill

I was raised to hate the black man,
To spit as he passed me in the street.

I was raised to hate his wife, too,
The woman I never thought to meet.

I was raised to hate their children,
All of them with skin darker than mine,

Raised not to hesitate if push came to shove;
I was never raised to love.

They had called it “Civil Rights”;
My father scoffed at the phrase.

Empathy was not in him,
Angry, he laughed. “Kids these days.”

I was raised to do what was right.
My father made sure of that.

I sat in sit-ins, I stood for freedom.

I realized you cannot be raised to love.

Even from behind these cold bars
I cheer the warriors on.

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