Because they have their mortal fears
Of terrorists in bandoleers,
Of men who marry other men
And girls who might be lesbian,
Of those who feel they must eschew
The values some would hold them to
The right would curb the liberties
Of immigrants and refugees,
Of blacks and women, gays and those
From Syrias and Mexicos,
The ones who do not look like me
Nor follow my philosophy.
Too short we are on tolerance
Yet much too long on fear.
Too readily we sacrifice
Those values once held dear.
Too pious in our arrogance,
Too certain in our wrong,
Afraid to go against the crowd
We merely tag along.
The Japanese internments and
The Africans in chains,
The Chinese in those work camps
Building bridges for our trains,
The children of the immigrants
In factories not schools
Or picking grapes or cotton
For those agribusiness fools.
Is this the nation we aspire to be
Where class and race determine who is free?
Where money is the most important thing
And privilege the god to which we cling?
Then woe to us America our future will be grim
For we surrender freedom to the fears we hold within.
© Glenn Meisenheimer, 2015