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Two Worlds
Left and Right. Black and White.
Courage and Bravery. Ebony and Ivory.
I live in two worlds.

If white was right and black was wrong,
Can I make a right-left and change the song
Playing on the track-and take it back
To a simpler time:
When I drank lemon-lime soda
And fought my sisters for the controlla
To the TV, before we could see
That the ebony and ivory towers
In our home were the exception:
Not the norm.
IFF. If and only if.
I live in two worlds.

If black was right and white was wrong
Then it didn’t take long,
For me to break the bread
And meet and greet
My black folks; my Southern roots:
Before I learned the truths
Of a divided family.
Where blood lost
Turned to blood loss
As my family shrank,
And my heart sank.
To be frank,
I didn’t thank
My family for the tree;
Before it was cut at the knee,
And the tree destroyed.
Leaves decimated.
Branches annihilated.
And the tree-trunk
Went Ker-plunk
As it was chopped at the roots.
I live in two different worlds.

If black was right and white was left,
Then shouldn’t I have been bereft
With words when my friends called me
"The whitest black person they know" IMMEDIATELY!?
Shouldn’t the twinge of anger have been automatic?
Should I have been less than static?
When my friends gave me the false assertion
That my exertion
Of energy to be defined as my actions
Had a hidden standard?
Given the given, shouldn’t my reaction
Have propelled me from being a bystander?
It took days of dismay,
Weeks of down-turned cheeks,
And months of fake-fronts
To realize that I WOULD NOT accept this anymore.
I live in two different worlds.

If white was right and black was left
Then call the cops! There’s been-a theft!
Of my white identity: or so it seems.
Because I am an ice-cream:
Vanilla chocolate swirl,
But to a lot of people
I may as well be double-chocolate whirl.
But why can’t I fit in?
Don’t I have the right stuff?
Will I ever have enough to say:
"I’m white and I’m proud"
Without sneers from both sides?
Apparently not yet.
For when a cereal-ad
Showed what my family looked-liked,
The world looked right-away
Saying they’d "want to vomit"
As their reactive comment.
It showed me that world could
Accept my rainbow family:
If it were monochrome.
I live in two different worlds.

If black and white
Were meant to fight,
How did they forget
When I was beget?
How can I be born 100% equal,
And almost a score of years later
Live more than 3?5 unequal?
Since 1?2 of my lineage got to set the rules
And the other half were chained up worse than mules.
Well I am at least two races,
And I’m tired of sprinting;
I have 20/20 vision,
But I am tired of squinting
To see the nugget of truth
In a sea of lies;
To see the double-standards
In single lines.
But I seek to live as a whole person
In balance with myself;
And I seek to live in a world
Where we are on the same shelf
Of the kitchen fridge, where we
Could come together and share some food.
And no racist who’d call me
Anything other than my name
Would be there to spoil the mood.
I live on one planet, but live in multiple worlds.
Jonathon Brown
Published in Issue 39