Tuesday, December 13, 2016

We Don't See Color

We Don't See Color

“I don’t see color,” we say, often and loudly.
“I’m not a racist,” we declare, in our biggest, strongest voices.
They’re being unfair.
We don’t see color.
If only that were true. If only we saw no hues.
Our actions say otherwise.
So much fault, so much blame, but it’s not a game.

Maybe eyes aren’t really a prize.
Maybe we don’t deserve our eyes because we tell these lies.
If no one had eyes, no one would see.
We could all just be.
It wouldn’t be a lie. It would be a tie, binding us together.
No sight. No color. Now we are one. The same. No more blame.

Except we can hear the color—
High lilts, dulcet tones, rich accents, southern drawls, twangs, masculine, feminine…
That sound is color, and the deadly diversity is found again.
Diversity is fear and fear is hate.

What good are ears when they let us hear jeers?
Maybe we don’t deserve our ears.
If no one had ears, no one would hear.
There would be no fear.

Hold on—
We can smell the color.
It’s musk and sunshine, expensive perfume and stale French fries,
Dust and greenery, chemicals and blood.
Variations. Depictions of color.

Smelling the roses isn’t worth the woes of our noses.
We don’t really need them anyway—
We have mouths through which we can breathe.
Maybe we don’t deserve our noses.
If no one had noses, no one would smell;
It would break bigotry’s spell.

But wait…
We can still touch—
Hands, skin, lips, hair…
Soft, rough, thin, scarred, smooth…
The ones who deviate are deviants.

Touch really isn’t so much.
Why the fuss?
Maybe we don’t deserve our fingers.
If no one had fingers, no one would touch.
It’s really not so much of a crutch.

One problem remains: we can taste.
Mexican spices, Asian cuisine, Italian feasts, Indian delights…
The tastes are color, and color is difference, and difference means fights.
Taste makes us act in haste: fighting and killing and hurting and suffering.

Taste is really just a frivolous waste.
Maybe we don’t deserve our tongues.
If no one had tongues, no one would taste.
Our fears have been faced—no, they’ve been laid to waste.

Without our senses,
Color would be gone.

We see no color.
We hear no fear.
We don’t smell bigotry’s spell.
We don’t touch the textures of skin different than our own.
We taste no cultural diversity.

We see no rainbows.
We hear no music.
We don’t smell a home-cooked meal made out of love.
We don’t touch our lover’s soft hand—so different from our rough one.
We don’t taste the pleasure different foods bring us.

Now when we say, “We don’t see color” it is the truth.
We don’t see anything,
Because there is nothing left to see.