Sunday, 20 November 2016

NOT JUST POLITICS

by Amy Ballard Rich


No, it’s not “just politics”
and I won’t “shut up about it”
during this
“stupid political season”

It wasn’t “just politics”
when politicians got elected
who allowed tree-spray pesticide use
“back in the day”
in residential neighborhoods,
and I got skin cancer
from being “accidentally” sprayed

Then it was my body,
my health,
my life,
me at the hospital
who got a skin graft,
not you at the hospital;
so, no, it is not “just politics”

It’s not “just politics”
when crazy ballot measures
get passed,
that ban same-sex marriage,
that ban transgendered persons
from using their rightful restroom

Then it is straight-up bigotry,
it creates a climate
of hate and fear
it takes us backwards
it chains our collective souls
it creates great sadness;
so no, it is NOT “just politics”

It is not “just politics”
if we elect candidates
who allow fracking,
the Keystone XL,
and the Dakota Access Pipeline

It is water coming out of taps
that catches on fire,
or fills the tub with murky brown
and raises cancer rates

It is not “just politics”
when officials are elected
who do not overhaul police departments,
to weed out officers
who are racist,
drug addicted,
or dealing with untreated
PTSD and anger issues

It is black men
I personally know,
getting stopped
while out walking
since it is a “decent neighborhood”
and they are black;
how dare they go for daily walks
like their doctor told them to

And it is black and brown people
I don’t personally know,
getting arrested
or killed
simply for existing
while dark-skinned

It’s not “just politics”
if we elect a President
who wants to ID every Muslim,
who wants to disrespect people of color,
and who wants to build a wall
between the United States and Mexico

Then it is harm
coming to many friends of mine,
then it is potentially
WWIII,
which is not “just politics”,
but actually involves
radiation burns,
bloody heads,
screaming children,
and death everywhere

So no,
it is NOT
“just politics”,
it is not trifling,
it has no “political season”
I will not “shut up” about it

But speaking of trifling,
you who want me to “shut up”
about “just politics”,
I do need to point something out

It actually IS “just football”,
and it actually IS currently “football season”,
and it actually IS just a game

But, because of my politics,
I will NOT
ask you
to “shut up” about it