The poverty of my privilege has robbed me
Of experiences and beauty that should beguile me.
Blinded by my history’s unquestioned filing.
Of docs, pics, and evidence
Without hearing how others hear the tocks and ticks.
Time passes, as the masses still can’t get this fixed.
I am one of ‘em completely blundersome.
Too busy talking to hear the tocking of the clock
Watching out for myself as another clock’s stopped.
Before its time,
Wishing I knew how to wind back history.
Unveil my eyes so I could see mystery.
How can color determine that’s you and this is me?
But if I reject, I reject the stories you have seen
There’s no Braille for race blinded eyes you see.
Maybe it’s me but maybe my eyes are working too much.
Just a hunch but maybe my eyes should close and my mouth should shut.
Maybe I should listen to stories that aren’t my own
Maybe then my understanding might grow.
John Combs has lived in the Hood River area for four years, following his marriage in 2016. With his wife, Tina, they have been foster parents for 3 years, recently adopting. Currently, John is employed at The Next Door. John describes himself as a reformed evangelical who came to a crisis in faith in 2015 and shortly after plunged headfirst in love with the Jesus of scripture. His renewed faith pushed him to reevaluate his beliefs about others and his willingness to engage and care for others outside of “his bubble”. An “amateur poet”, John uses his faith, convictions, and belief in the living Christ as a motivation to question the assumptions of society and American Evangelical structures. His desire is to use his gifts to reveal the Jesus who loves the poor, heals the sick, speaks truth to power, and reigns as Resurrected King.
Books, Articles, Documentaries, Movies, TV Shows
Check out our recommended racial and social justice resources
More From the Justice Blog
We're looking for local people to write about their experiences of growing toward anti-racism. Do you have a story to tell? Did you know that racism...
Andy Wade - Hello, my name is Andy Wade, and I’m addicted to racism What if we began our responses as White Americans with this statement? Listening...
Andy Wade - I am disturbed by what I’m seeing and hearing. I’m disturbed not only by what I’m seeing and hearing but by what's revealed about myself...
Molly Davis -- There is this logging road we hike once or twice a week. Over the course of 1.7 miles we gain 1000’ in elevation while hiking through...
Andy Wade - We know better now. Don’t we?' Way back then in times of “savages” and slaves, perhaps they didn’t know better. Still, as ones formed in...
Frances Ellen Watkins Harper In the nineteenth century, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper was an influential abolitionist, suffragist, and reformer who...
Ann Harris - Since 2016, something has really changed for me in the way that I feel when I am out in public spaces or traveling around the state or...
Tina Castañares - My name is Tina Castañares. I live in the Odell area and have lived and worked in the Mid-Columbia for 36 years. I believe in...
For many years, I have resisted uncomfortable conversations about race and white privilege. My sister has for many years challenged our family to engage in discussions about race and I have resisted, asking her explicitly to stop bringing those topics to the dinner table. I did not want to engage in dialogues about racism because I felt that I did not know enough and if I said something it would show my ignorance. I often felt if I did not say anything offensive or negative to someone of color, then no one could prove I was racist.
Evelyn Charity - My name is Evelyn Charity and I am one of five daughters whose mother was born to sharecropper parents in Arkansas in 1918. She and...