The Other America: Prospers Divided

Poem Submission by: David Soto

February 7th, 2018

America, as a realm, prospers divided.

From its conception and its conceivement, its prosperity has been askew.

Where its triumph derived from capitalism, its poverty derived too.

There is an America which breathes beneath the poster of our boasts.

Despairingly it lives in contrast to the other.

Only to perpetuate its reality– a city without growth.

Where jobs are scarce and education a myth, quality of life is again, contrast to the other.

We have witnessed the wealth of slavery transcend time.

“For to everyone who has, more will be given.”

“But from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

And therefore inequality lingers on, instead of living only for today.

The “sunlight of opportunity”  has been defiled and manipulated.

Individuals, institutions, and systems perpetuate a story that reads

“Even what he has will be taken away.”

But how is this solved?

It was believed that freedom was written in the book of fate, but can equality be foreseen too?

Not just reading it, but living it.

In the wealthiest nation, and the most powerful too,

We have something called systematic inequality which protrudes through.

Through these same boasts and triumphs which only affect the few, this inequality continues to protrude.

“Freedom is the bonus you receive from telling the truth.” 

But does truth allow for prosperity too? When does this truth allow for equal education? When the only truth some of us know, is the reality that we are an unequal nation.

The belief of inferiority perpetuates inferiority. Is this why our schools are inferior too? With the wealth in this land, the fruit is tasted by the few.

With the power in this land, are you allowed to bare fruit?.

Concepts such as “black is beauty” were once  radical ideas.

Once a very bold thought, and a very challenged thought, but it was a prevailing idea.

The idea that black and beauty were not inherit opposites,

or that color and value were not ever connected.

The idea that men and women do not need to be on a spectrum.

And that respect for all people should not have to be defended.

All these ideas were once radical in nature,

But still we have people living beneath the poster.

But how is this solved?

Dr. King made it clear that there is a myth of time,

That whenever there are problems, waiting to solve them is always wrong.

Secondly, Dr. King also attempted to persuade,

That legislation and political consciousness, do lead the way.

Though one law may not change a heart,

it changes behavior, which leads to questioning, and that is a start.

There is, however, something inherently wrong with our society.

And that is that millions of people get paid a starvation wage.

And millions more are known as wage slaves.

When so few people have so much, and so much people have so few.

For a second, for just a moment, we ask whether justice is even real.

I come from Chicago, and I see it is evidently true,

That America has some of the hardest workers, yet the prosperous ones are the few.

When we turn our backs on the children of this country,

When we turn our heads to the minorities and the poverty-stricken,

When we turn off our minds to moral consciousness,

And when we turn off our hearts to what is really happening–Injustice. 

The wealth in this land allows for the largest of prisons,

To house our blacks, hispanics, and our natives, who have been devoured by the systems.

And the ones who are not broken by the system, aspire for a college education,

Only to face a new threat that is, without money, we won’t make it.

Where in this course of human events do we rediscover our human dignity

Such as we had in moral revolutions before?

The birth of our nation saw us in search of our own liberty.

But since then, we have forgotten the liberty of our own?

America, as a realm, prospers divided.

From its conception and its’ conceivement, its prosperity has been askew.

Where its triumph derived from capitalism, its poverty derived too.

Poem Submission by: David Soto


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