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Monthly Archives: January 2008

Little Girl, I am not a Cracker. (An occurrence at The Martin Luther King Rec Center, Gainesville, Florida, the year 2000)

Little Girl, I am not a Cracker. (An occurrence at The Martin Luther King Rec Center, Gainesville, Florida, the year 2000)

I am here, just like you,
a citizen of this state,
at a city pool.

My son is your age
and he plays here with his friends,
takes swimming lessons,
splashes in the same water with you.
And, yet, you are none the lighter for it
and he, no more dark.

How old are you, little girl?
Seven? Eight?
Who thought teaching you about Crackers
was a good idea?

There you were, with your friends,
And I, with my son,
passing by you, having just paid my fees
for his class,
and you talking to your friends,
pointing at us
saying how
You don’t like Crackers.
Never did like Crackers.

Little girl, I am not a Cracker.
My people were slaves, just like yours.
Go Down Moses, we sing at Passover.
Wade in the Water my favorite holiday song.

When my grandparents came here,
they were not white. They came from a ghetto,
moved to a ghetto. I can still hear them call me kike
like I’m in second grade.
Are you in second grade? What do they call you?

When Selma was marched upon,
My people were there.
We came from all over this nation
to beat back Jim Crow,
face the flame on the cross,
stare through the hoods.
Freedom Riders came
and in the obvious light of the Southern sun
we fought with you,
rode with you,
walked with you.
Our dead rotted in the summer swelter
just like yours.

Little girl, did you read
I Have a Dream?
I read it to my son.
Did your Mamma read it to you?

In Montgomery,
there is a memorial
to the many slain in the fight for civil rights.
Little girl, did you know there are Jews on that slab?
We lay next to you in memorial,
under the ground.

Little girl, I am not a Cracker.
Do not judge me by how I look.
I will try to do the same.

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Posted by on January 21, 2008 in Culture, Family, History, Poetry, Social, Writing

 

The Republic of Lakotah: An open letter of support to Russell Means

Since the writing of this letter, a new webpage has appeared on te net. The Republic ol Lakotah webpage is designed to discuss the need for, and assist in moving ahead with, what may well be called a two state solution.

My question is this: If secession is successfull, what will they do with the refugees who want to cross the border? I know what they will do with the Lakotah. What will they do with the disaffected non-natives? When citizens, black and white, come to the border? I Want to know. My wife may already be packing our things.

You can write Russell Means at treaty@plateautel.net

*****

Mr. Means,

I have been apprised of your movement for secession by an entry posted on a blog written by my publisher, Craig R. Smith of Smithcraft Press.

As an citizen of this country, as an American, I support this completely and applaud the effort regardless of the outcome. Further, I wish to know what I can do to make sure the outcome is as we both see it should be.

People expect assimilation. Cohabitation is not the same as assimilation. Far too much assimilation has taken place and far too much identity lost. Lost identity. Lost language. Lost land. Lost seeds. Lost rituals. Lost culture. Lost selves.

May your people regain all you can, all you lost, and stand as respected equals — the best you can be of who you are, not striving toward amorphism or an ambiguously defined version of what many Americans believe you should be.

I am new to this country. A second generation American, I am appreciative of the chances I have received, though can still remember being told by others I did not belong, being told I was not allowed here or there, being told by my family to fit in, assimilate, act like everyone else. What am I left with? A shallow sense of who I might have been. My children left to ask what we were and who they are.

My family, half of it, was in Germany. The other half in Russia. My family tree looks as though a chainsaw was taken to it and two thirds lopped off in jagged anger. Land taken. Lives taken. Identities taken.

And so, I can, in some ways, feel for what your people go through. But, I cannot imagine living with those who have done this to me. As you do. I cannot imagine seeing the land taken from me, knowing it is no longer mine. As you do. My reminders are in the past. Your’s are ever present.

And so, I wish to help how I can if such help is useful and desired. My time, effort and writing are here for the task.

My many thanks for your work.

Adam

(Adam Byrn Tritt, M.Ed, CHt)

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 13, 2008 in Culture, History, Social

 
 
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