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Never About The Colour

Never the colour, never about the colour
Or religion provided they kept it to themselves.
it was always about the jobs they took
the way they undercut wages
About not speaking our language
about danger to our women,
And we had to beware, beware.
Because live and let live is all very well,
but some bleeding hearts don't understand
It's about protecting our culture.

I might believe you if I was 4
And hadn't heard the same claim made
Every year of my life.
Yes, it was the colour til it couldn't be the colour
And religion til it couldn't be religion,
And language til everyone spoke your language
and borders when your borders were safe,
Then suddenly it was about protecting a culture
As if an ancient history of beauteous tongue
would rip like a wet paper plate
dismayed at the notion of difference.
That's not the culture; that's you.

Because long before the Muslims, it was Blacks
and long before the Blacks it was the Irish
And long before the Irish, it was the French
And long before the French, it was the Scots
And long before them all it was the Poor,
Among them, You; And that is why you hid
behind reasons to hate and to belong
You stepped up on the ladder of despising,
When all you had to do was kick it down.
And when they see you, your old masters smile;
Never the colour, never about the colour.

Hmm. Well, best describe this as 'free verse,' I suppose. As this is a public post, I wonder if there is a need to specify that this is not about the behaviour of poor people in general, but about a specific phenomenon. But I think it is clear enough.

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