Stewart Acuff

Oct 3

All of Us

Written by Stewart Acuff

Still stinging tonight about Scott Brown and

His dismissal of the heritage and the lives of

The family of Elizabeth Warren and their

Cultures mixed as they were like so many

Of the rest of us Americans and our blood

We fell in love as all people do and the best

Of us didn’t worry about how dark or light

The skin was or the hair’s texture or how

Wide our noses were or the shape of our

Cheekbones. We loved and learned from

One another whether to fry or stew okra

Who could best imitate the scream of a

Panther in the Mississippi River bottomlands

The last panthers east of that river that

Split the continent. Maybe Ms. Warren’s

Grandmas made cornbread or biscuits like

Mine or told stories on warm summer nights

Like mine or maybe her Grandpas taught her

And the boys to shoot what you could eat

And catch the fish you were willing to clean

Ms. Warren is beyond all that now even

Though some of us get fresh sheller peas or

Mustard greens still or barbecued coon or

Wild hog roasted over an open hickory fire

See what Scott Brown and his pretty frat

Boys don’t know is when they make fun of

Her Cherokee or Delaware, they make fun

Of my Cherokee and Chickasaw and African

There is not one race or ethnicity in this

Country, but so very many and we still

Struggle to learn and live together and to

Honor one another and our people and how

We live and look and how proud we are of

The ancestors who traveled the Trail of

Tears and the others who hid in the

Mountains they knew from hunting there.

Scott Brown and his pretty frat boys don’t

Even know these things. Posing for hand

Commercials don’t leave time to learn

How people learned to live with each other

Across lines that only frustrate life.

© Creative Commons Copyright 2012

——

Stewart Acuff is America’s best-known and foremost labor organizer. He is the former organizing Director of the AFL-CIO. Acuff has also written two books: Playing Bigger Than You Are: A Life in Organizing, and Getting America Back to Work, coauthored by Dr. Richard Levins.

2 Comments

Leave a comment

Powered by sweet Captcha

UA-30714318-1