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Forty-six million white adults today can trace the origins of their family wealth to the Homestead Act of 1862. This bill gave away valuable acres of land for free to white families, but expressly precluded participation by Blacks.
"how do I have privilege?"
I’m using this in my essay about how the American dream is a racist myth
The other day I helped
kindergarten students craft
the essential sounds to answer a question:
Why do you love your mother?
Beside themselves with affection,
gratitude shot from the heart
through the shoulder
raising the hand to boast riches of relationships:
Jonas, remember to space your words
so we can comprehend your bits of love
Penny, you already know how to spell “because,”
Spencer, why don’t you have anything after
"I love my mom because…" ?
His silence broke no sound waves,
but screamed to me
Due to the strict schedule
and habitual sweeping under the rug,
I neglected to say what I was thinking:
See, six-year-olds are sharp.
Six year olds know your schedule”
better than you do.
When you’ll show in their class
to pull a student to play word games,
They persist in using a prefix
and last name,
after hearing it once
four months ago,
although you insist on using first names.
Six-year-olds know more
than we give them credit for.
Six-year-olds really do know
where the candy is.
What most six-year-olds
have not yet learned is
the meaning of silence.
"Spencer, what do you like to do
when you do see your mother?”
See, you can’t tell a six-year-old
to shut the fuck up,
And you also can’t tell them
that some people,
us lucky ones,
see an unfinished definition
when we beg the dictionary
for the meaning of
No, I don’t have time to poke
the bloody scabs of your classmate,
I should have been a nurse,
because the only results my job depend on
are standardized test scores,
and not the happiness
or emotional adjustment of each student.
Spencer, I’m sorry that half my life
cannot suffice to answer your questions
or numb your pain.
I don’t know how long you will hurt,
or how many windows through which you will question,
waiting for an answer
in the form of headlights
or a depressed doorbell.
I don’t know if or when she will come back,
but I don’t give a shit about district policy on hugs
and I know a great book to distract you.
And I have to give a shit about the privacy of students’
And even though she may not be,
I am here.
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