I don’t want your pity, your charity.
I’m not your good deed for the day.
I want truth and fairness and honesty,
so I can live in a dignified way.
My legs don’t work, but my spirit stands tall.
Our skins don’t match, but we’re the same within.
The promise “equality, liberty, and justice for all”
is spoken and broken without breathing in.
Being treated like a person isn’t a lavish claim.
Respect ain’t a favor. I don’t owe you for this.
I’m different but equal in every single way.
Your ignorance is stealing my life for your bliss.
A snide remark, a playful pinch,
gaslighting and buttonholing and cruel victim blaming.
This boy’s club will protect their own in a cinch:
we are just dressing for windows, canvas for framing.
I just want to be seen for who I really am.
More than my color, my legs, or what’s in between.
A human with dreams and promise and hands,
willing to work fair and free and clean.
But the deck’s stacked in your favor,
and you don’t even see it.
The history of poverty and slavers:
you don’t feel it.
I respect that this is hard for you,
‘cuz you think you did nothing wrong.
Changing minds is grievously slow,
and those listening must be strong.
I don’t have all the answers,
I’m no knight or wizard or king.
But I know we have to converse,
it’s how we fix this thing.
Just think of what if you were me,
try putting yourself in my shoes.
How would you like your life to be?
What shouldn’t you get to choose?
Wouldn’t you like a life of fairness?
Where you got what you deserved?
Or at least the same shot at happiness
that silver spooners were served?
That’s all I want. A clean shot at life.
Not to be hindered or burdened so much.
I should be free to be husband or wife,
and stand proudly with my crutch.
Do better, be nicer, focus every day.
Your co-citizens are on the line, this ain’t no joke.
This country’s dream can make it great
but not if the people ain’t woke.