Man // Foundations

By Brandon Hope

Black man, white man, who am I man?
Oppressor or victim to oppression?

I am human, you can not second guess it –
but that tends to go in one ear and out the other.
The less that I’ve chosen one race over the other,
the deeper I dove in to the bi-racial struggle.

Confusion that’s when they can’t tell what’s my color.
Deception accusations when they can’t tell what’s my color.

Abusive repercussions cause I’m not quite my mother,
Abusive repercussions cause I’m not quite my father,
Abusive repercussions cause they don’t know what I am,
Abusive repercussions when I’m merely just a MAN.

My experience with racism is very different from most, being that I am a bi-racial man that comes from a bi-racial household. For one, my grandparents on both sides of my family are very bias towards the other race, so that was an interesting and painful experience growing up, never feeling accepted in my own home amongst my own family. Then, I got the same type of experience at school and in my neighborhood. So on top of the systemic racism that we are all faced within our neighborhoods, (the ghetto) and in our schools, I was dealing with it from my family and peers.

Now, I believe that racism can be fixed…. but only with hard work and time, because racism is inbred within the system (when I say the system, I am speaking of the American government).

Now, picture the system as a structure like a building. If the system was a building, then the issue that needs to be fixed is deep within the concrete structure, so the only option when there is a structural problem, is to build a new foundation. But to build a new foundation, we must first tear down the building; and the new building can’t be built upon another corrupt foundation. There must be no flaws, or we will have to tear it down again. There should be no hatred in the foundation, nor bias of any kind. We must find a way to utilize love, or at the very least empathy, and build our foundation amongst it.

The answer to racism is the most common and simple phrase you hear growing up – but it is also the most complicated – because America as a whole has still failed to master it. All we have to do is, TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!!! Think about it.

– Brandon C. L. Hope, From Hampton, VA

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