America: Home of the Afraid – a Poem by Kristen

By my lovely bride Kristen on September 11, 2014.

Land of the free.
Home of the brave.

Home of fear as well.

Columbus stepped on Native’s soil
“Strange Savages”
Could not understand them
Their life so different than our own

We’re afraid
But we want their land
We’ll take it from them

Assimilate or death
America is built on the graveyard of natives
Fear was turn into hate

Home of the fearful ones.

Civil War.
Americans turned on each other
One side believed slaves should be free
The other side believed slaves were a God given right

They feared a life without slaves.
Would they lead a revolt?
How will we get food on our table without slaves?

Fear caused slave-owners
To cling to their guns tighter
To whip slaves so they were too weak
To fight back or to run away

Home of the fearful.

Cold war.
When America and Russia were at a standoff
Fear of communism
Lived in people’s veins

Friend turned foe
Launch of FBI Investigation
Red Scare.
Fear caused people to turn on each other

Home of the fearful ones.

Pearl Harbor.
When Japan attacked the military base in Hawaii
Fear of ‘Japs’
Caused stunned civilians and military
To cry out and take up arms

Round up the Japanese Americans
Send them to Japanese Internment Camps
For 4 years, where they cannot hurt us
Fear caused people to see neighbors as foe

Home of the fearful ones.

When Terrorists hijacked planes
It struck a chord
America isn’t so invincible
But very vulnerable

When the religion of the terrorists came out
Fear of Muslims spread like wildfire
Fear soon turned into Hate

American Muslims
Though they lived among us for years
They soon faced fear, jeering, taunting, cursing and threats
From people that lived by them most of their life

Home of the fearful ones.

Let us not continue down this path of fear.
Fear can only be driven out by love.

Humanize those who
are different from us

By talking to them,
Listening to their stories
Listen to their pain, hopes and dreams.

Laugh and cry with them.
With all peoples.

Only then
Can America stop be fearful.
And start being embracing.

Only then
Can America start acting rationally.

Only then
Can Americans stand tall
And be not afraid.

About David M. Schell






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