The Game is Leveraged*

Simple-minded responses
and the blame game reveal
the endemic racism that
white America simply won’t

face in order to maintain
a sick system of privilege and
power at the expense of
fellow citizens who happen to

be of color. The game is leveraged
and the system is set up for
some to fail over and over and be
blamed for that situation when

they couldn’t have done anything
differently. Didn’t anyone take
a sociology class in high school
or college? Apparently not given

the simplistic responses to
the racist attacks on the city of
Baltimore. Nobody is defending
the city as the citadel of livability

but where is the exploration into
the roots of such dire living
conditions in some parts of the
city? Some of the issues in

urban living in many cities
seem intractable but that is
a condition that has evolved
since the first post-slavery days

and the subsequent cultural systems
fueled by bigotry and racism.
Now, people living in the prison of
that societal prejudice are blamed

for the circumstances. It’s like
keeping a person locked in a
dungeon for years upon years
and then when the doors are

opened blaming that person
for being afraid to come out
and pointing a finger of blame
when that person fights violently

to stay just where he or she has
been kept or angry and resentful
when they, the prisoners, see how
good those on the outside of the

dungeon have it and because of the
light on the outside breaking into
the dungeon, can see the dismal
reality on the inside.

*I read the poem “truth”
wrote The Game is Leveraged,
and realized that Ms. Brooks wrote
so exquisitely using the metaphor of
the sun which reminded me of what I
was attempting to say using the image
of the dungeon and then seeing the light.

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