Racism, our Inner Pandemic

Racism, our Inner Pandemic

By, Neeraja Havaligi
June 2020

Inner Pandemic,
A fragile
unyoked need
for assertion and power
one over the other.
Fed by fear,
shaped by stereotypes,
grown in suspicion,
evolving sight that
only sees, ‘the other’.
Inner Pandemic
Intimidates into silence,
Overlooks, un-hears,
And claims
it did not hear, read or sense,
What ‘the other’ saw, felt, heard
And experienced.
Inner Pandemic tells
there are both sides of issues
no right and wrong
it is, it tells,
as it is meant to be.
Justice,
an oasis
In Endless desert
Desert rains,
these by- stander evidence
of the invisible.
Eruptions
Treated with hasty apologies,
silent corrections
Workshops, Seminars, Certifications,
Platitudes, these,
Placards of diversity and inclusion

It thrives
This endemic virus
A unique human virus
in hosts,
conditioned with apathy,
unassailable images and stories,
of bypassed values
normalized Disparities
cultivated obliqueness
buttressed by lost memory
Of shared humanness.
Unseen
And omnipresent
Evolving pandemic
Segregationists, assimilationists
and anti-racists
learning from
cries, laughs and breaths together.
Knocked by a dare
Marching and kneeling
fed by hope
Freeing breaths, from viral pressure
A cautious hope
A dare to experience potential,
To germinate, grow and create shade
for a
learning journey,
A lifeline, for
Lifetimes
Of breaths
Free from
the
Inner Pandemic Pressure.

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