Poem by Pearl Masemola 

What if you knew

What if you knew

That the same red coloured blood flowing through your veins

Courses the same route as mine

What if you knew

That black and white

Were meant to be complimentary

But we turned them into mortal enemies

When, when will we realise that

Beauty is not a shade

But a mind-set

Beauty is not subjective to the melanin in your skin

When did we reduce our identity

To colours in a crayon box

When even they get along better than us

The hate, anger and violence

Only because the skin differs

We have been waged in a war we will never win

We forgot to notice that the world is crumbling all around us

A part of the human spirit died

When brothers and sisters hated what made them special

But in essence their biology runs perfectly parallel

When do derogatory terms get lost

In our vocabulary

When the cat no longer has to catch your tongue

To stop you from spewing venomous hate

When, when do we stop being

Black, white, coloured and Indian

And start being human beings

*Pearl Masemola is member of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s University of Johannesburg society (AKF UJ). She writes in her personal capacity.

Her poem is part of a series of opinion pieces written for Anti-Racism Week (March 14-21). Visit www.arnsa.org.za for more information on the campaign. .



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