Different Colors


People judge each other with just a look nowadays. They give you a once-over and they think they know everything about you. While you might not even notice you’re doing it (not gonna lie, I do it too), you’re judging them based on a stereotype, which is sometimes actually a form of racism. You might think that it’s meaningless, it’s not going to actually hurt anyone — believe me, it does. Just because someone looks a certain way or is a different race from you doesn’t mean they’re inferior to you in any way. The poem I wrote deals with the more serious consequences of the constant racism and stereotyping that happens in society nowadays.


My poem is about racism in modern society and focuses more on the stereotypes that come along with the race of a person, which is a type of racism as well. I feel like nowadays, stereotyping is a very common issue in society, so my poem’s theme is essentially how the race of a person shouldn’t matter; we’re all equal.

I used imagery in the third stanza to add some substance to the message of my poem because the first couple stanzas were abstract. Metaphors are also used in the third stanza to enhance the imagery. The narrator has an angry, accusatory tone in the beginning, but it shifts after a moment of realization. Then, the narrator reaches a conclusion and calms down. That moment of realization is in the fifth stanza, “Everything you’re saying I’ve already seen on the screens — maybe that’s why you’re like this”. This is saying that these racial stereotypes can be seen on TV, movies, books — everywhere. Since stereotypes have become such a part of our everyday life, people are “label[ing] [others] without even thinking”. The narrator realizes that all the categorizing is not completely the fault of these people, since the stereotypes are found wherever you look, and they’ve become almost ‘natural’ to label people with them. The word “color” doesn’t necessarily apply to only skin, it can also be used for hair: “Just because her hair is lighter”, which refers to the stereotype of blondes being not as smart, and the differences in skin colors can also refer to stereotypes of Asians being smart and blacks being athletic, “Who are you to decide who’s smart, who’s athletic?”. The rest of the poem goes back to the theme of how everyone is equal and we’re all humans, “just different colors”.


Different Colors

You fear what you don’t understand

Condemn and criticize

You hate the things you aren’t

Oppress and victimize

You punish me for something I can’t change

Persecute and terrorize

 

Equality isn’t equal

Freedom doesn’t come free for me

It’s different for you, but then again,

I wouldn’t know, would I?

 

You judge me without reason

I see it in your little smirks

And those taunting jibes that I hear

Even when you’re not around

It’s the yell of your voice

The punch of your fist

The fire in your eyes

 

Why do you say I can’t be the best at what I want?

Why must everyone fit into your little box?

Who are you to decide who’s smart, who’s athletic?

Who are you to tell me I’m not?

I guess you think you’re justified?

I guess no one ever told you you’re not?

 

What gives you the right to do this?

You think you’re being funny, being clever, being cool?

Everything you’re saying I’ve already seen on the screens

— maybe that’s why you’re like this.

Those cliches and labels

Are constantly blasted at you and me

Become the silent bullets you don’t notice you’ve shot

Until they’ve punctured my heart

You’ve labeled me without even thinking,

Like everyone in the world is your plaything.

 

I’m more like you than you’d like to think

We live under the same sky

Walk on the same Earth

You don’t have to like it

Sometimes I don’t either

 

Just because her hair is lighter

His skin is darker

Doesn’t mean we can’t like the same things

Be of the same status

Live in the same neighborhood

 

We both bleed red, in the end

Born with the same skin

The same eyes

The same hair

Just different colors


Featured Image: here