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  • Writer's pictureArlene Worsley

Original Poem: When I say "Stop!"

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

When you look at me,

what do you see? When I speak clear English,

what do you hear?

Do you see me as your equal?

Or do you subject me to your bias?

To my face and at a distance,

you call me the coronavirus.

You see me by the color of my skin,

a color shades darker than yours.

You judge me because

of the shape of my eyes.

And yet you dare say,

I am not a racist, I am wise.

At work,

you see me as a threat.

You hinder my success

and punish me instead.

You yell at me, humiliate me, bully me

until I concede.

I am not worthy is what

you want me to believe.

With the pandemic,

your prejudice has come full force.

Behind a mask, you dare

spill your hate without remorse.

You blame all Asians for what

the pandemic has cost you.

When it has cost everyone so much too.



Hate crimes


You tried to silence me.

You tried to make me small.

You tried to make me concede.

You tried to make me fall.

I say "Stop!"

Enough is enough.

I refuse to be conditioned to accept your -ism.

You must respect my voice, my activism.

I deserve to be seen and heard.

I deserve a safe place to live and work.

The next time you approach me

with hate in your veins,

I will bluntly tell you,

"Stop. What do you have to gain?"

You gain nothing at all.

Original poem by Arlene Worsley

Blog Thumbnail Photo Credit: Genaro Molina (Los Angeles Times)

© 2021 Arlene Worsley,

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