Activist Hypocrisy – 4 Poems
Poems on activist hypocrisy.
From a book called “Burning the Anarchist Bible: Cynical poetry for those fed up with dogma”
he was a big guy, chicano, bisexual
nice as folks come
didn’t smoke but bummed for his friends,
kill whitey patch on his knee.
he chuckled at a rape joke once
and has been raped himself
but people don’t disclaim that
when they painfully laugh.
so a white woman turns on him
there is nothing funny about rape.
she calls him a straight white male
who would therefore never have to deal with rape.
the only word she got right was male.
he calls her sexist.
she learns that he is chicano
and her story changes.
she explains that in the same way
that he, chicano, couldn’t be racist
against her, white
she, woman, couldn’t be sexist against him,
“I was raised a racist,” he replies,
“by militant chicano seperatists.”
with her choice anti-racist views
she had denied the struggles he had
against his own internalized racial
but that’s okay, because later he became
too racist against us good white folks
and we had to kick him out.
she gave three men, crusty punks, a ride
six hundred miles.
of course, she bought all of the gas.
of course, they didn’t know how to drive.
“why do you own a car?” it was their refrain.
she played the radio and drove them
most of the way up the west coast
to their green anarchist gathering.
on the stereo, political rap.
“if a woman ain’t down, she can never
really be your wife.”
“turn that sexist shit off.” it was their chorus.
“look, I am a woman, and it doesn’t offend me.”
sitting shotgun, one took the opportunity of
turning that sexist shit off for her.
“just because I am a man, doesn’t mean
I can’t be a feminist.”
years ago in high school
I was no anarchist.
I thought laws could solve the problems of oppression
and I thought rules should curtail improper behavior.
we formed the gay-straight alliance
to let everyone know that homophobia was going to stop.
one day a teacher taught us that fanny packs were for fags
and I used to respect that teacher
but I told him I didn’t appreciate gay jokes.
three other memebers of the gay-straight alliance
who were in the class with me
tried to turn invisible.
he told me that it wasn’t serious.
I told him the law against queer discrimination
in the public schools of our county.
his eyebrows dropped in anger
his old broken hands wrung themselves
“if you want someone to understand you
or comply, the worst possible way is
to quote law at them, to tell them
what they can and cannot do.”
I was silent and self-righteous at the time
but he was right about law.
I still don’t appreciate gay jokes.
there was a campfire in the woods, of course
and we soberly plotted authority’s demise.
I don’t know who it was who suggested that
every fast food joint should burn.
the woodfire crackled with joy and
wise young heads nodded.
I was old at 21 –
I suggested that ideally one would be prepared
to feed the family of the displaced cashiers
and fry cooks
until they found other jobs.
the woodfire sputtered its disdain and silence
or disbelief gathered in the faces around me.
they taught me that concern for humanity
is tantamount to treason
and for voicing this opinion
I was speciesist.
published in 2007 by
Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness
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