when multiculturalism becomes a bad word

Chesapeake, VA 11/17/16

citing concentration camps
on network television news
as if the great american PAC
is taking back our country
to the 1940s

when japanese internment camps
are referenced as precedent
we are reminded of the shameful deed

have you not seen adam’s photographs?
have you not seen lange’s photographs?
what about the photos of miyatake?

miyatake with his smuggled lens
and homemade, wooden camera
creating images
of his fellow, U.S. citizen inmates
people, who committed no crimes
and received no trials
who endured the loss of freedom
the heartbreak and the struggle
the loss of home and dignity
the ever-present dust and wind
the barbed wire of manzanar

have you not learned from your past?
america—the beacon on the hill
you stumble but get back up
learn from your mistakes
shrug off your phobias
embrace your diversity
and justice for all

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