Prejudice

وَنْ تاوني سترينجر يسأل في شعره “التعصب”:

“إن كنتَ غامقاً إلى هذا الحدّ فما حاجتُك للشمس؟”

Poem by One Tawny Stranger

You’re dark enough, why do you need sun?

But you sound educated.

Is that your real voice?

But you look black

Not Jamaican, you’re too-light skinned

Oh you are Jamaican?

Where are your dreads?

Just so you know, I am a fan of Bob Marley

And I do love me the occasional spliff

Getting high every now and again.

But your height,

Your muscles

Make you an overtowering overpowering cause for concern.

How do I measure up?

Actually can I… measure up?

Your gait is too smooth, too streamlined,

Too like you’ve got somewhere important to go.

Please tone it down.

Chest too wide,

Taking up too much of my airspace on

My buses,

My trains,

My country

And if you’re travelling by air forget it.

Your passport still looks Muslim.

And you know you’re banned from American Airlines right?

But you’re still my brother.

As-salamu ‘alaykum

Oh you’re not?

Praise Jesus!

Oh you’re not Christian?

You ain’t taking my Bible!

You ain’t taking my God!

You ain’t taking my right to tell you to

Go burn in hell you unbelieving monkey Uncle Tom-looking motherfucker!

What?

No I’m not!

How could you even say such a thing?

This is a free country!

How can you be so…

So…

Prejudiced?

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