Inured to Injustice

I grew up

a few homes from the tracks.

Tracks loud with hustle

and bustle

And movement.

Tracks that delineated

And divided

Here from there

Us from them.

Noisy tracks

Kickin’ up dirt

Racing and marching

Screaming and screeching

Striving to move forward

While I barely noticed.

Unfazed on this side

My side

Among my own

My neighbors

My friends

So much the same.

Same boundaries

Same perceptions

Same faces

Same colors

Same us


From the same




The tracks rumbled on

Loud with movement

Racing onward

Most of my life

Spent on this side

Defaulting to sameness

Blissfully unaware

Of life

Over there.

Their side…

When we had need

to venture over

Felt awkward


Lacking the safety

Of sameness.

Over there

I was on alert

Standing out


Eager to hurry back

To the safety

Of our side

To the comfort

Of being unfazed



Year after year

Generation after generation

Those noisy tracks

Rumbled on

Racing forward

And I grew

Without growing


In sameness

Unfazed by the noise

Unaware of inequity

Unburdened by race




Those in-between moments

When the train wasn’t marching

And the tracks weren’t rumbling

The noise from the other side

Drifted over

From them.

Sometimes filled with laughter

Sometimes filled with song

Sometimes loud and angry

Shouts and cries

Bouncing off the walls

Mostly unheard


All the noise

Became background


Rather than responsibility

Just the way things were

You learned to accept it

Expect it

To not name it

To not rock it

Lest you lose it

And the comfort of sameness

Fills with suspicion

Corroded with judgment

And fear of mixing




That was the bubble

I grew up in

Like many of us

In the good old days

But I’ve grown to realize

That I hadn’t grown at all

And those good ol’ days

Weren’t so great

After all

For all.

I’ve grown to see

Those tracks were designed

To deliver cargo

Of entitlement

And privilege

To one side

And to deliver freight

Of suppression

And mislabeled inferiority

To the other.

The tracks were designed

As an intricate system

To divide

And delineate

And distribute

According the deliberate will

And benefit

of the builders

To build more wealth

And more tracks

And more walls.

I’m learning to question

Rather than remain


Inured to their injury.

I’m learning to listen

Rather than remain


Inured to the injustice.

I’m learning to look

Rather than remain


Inured to institutionalized privilege.

They want what I have,

But why do I have it


Why do they have to ask for it?

Beg for it?

Kneel for it?

March for it?

Cry for it?

Die for it?

The train is in motion

Gathering forces

from both sides


Together for justice

The tracks have been overrun

by a movement

Moving beyond monuments



Creating a new system

That delivers on the ideals

We professed long ago

A system of liberty

And justice

for all.