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Archive for the ‘Prejudice’ Category

I sit here in the lunchroom,
And chomp my ham and cheese.
I smell the scent of mushroom.
The gang begins to tease.

“Your spring rolls have sprung.
Your bean curd’s a turd.
Your dumplings are dung.
And you’re such a nerd.”

Her name is Ming Ma Wong.
She’s eating egg drop soup.
Her eyes look sadly woe begone.
Her shoulders start to droop.

I catch a waft of Parmesan.
The gang has smelled it too.
They soon devise a master plan.
While watching Tony chew.

“Cannelloni, minestrone,
Fettuccine and linguine,
Pannetonne. Tell me Tony,
Do you think you’re Mussolini?

Tony looks so devastated.
Garlic fills the room.
That smell cannot be understated.
Taunting will resume.

“Paté de foie and basilic,
Les Crèpes and croque monsieur …
You call this food? It makes me sick.”
Martin exclaims, << Mon Dieu! >>

There soon arrives an odor,
A smell I can’t define.
No matter what the flavor,
The gang will realign.

The new boy’s called Masaki.
He loves to eat his Nori,
His Sushi and Shiitaki,
And Tofu Yakitori.

The gang surrounds Masaki.
I watch as they regroup.
“Teriyaki, Sukiyaki.
What the heck is Miso Soup?”

The foods all smell so good to me.
The gang is so unkind.
I really have to disagree.
I’m of another mind.

So …

Tomorrow I will ask my mom,
To hold the ham and cheese.
I’d prefer …

Sauerkraut, Moussaka,
Baklava, Tofu,
Strudel and Frittata,
Couscous and pistou …

I won’t be in a hurry.
I’ll look them in the eye,
While savoring my curry.
They will not make me cry,

If that gang should come along,
I’m ready. I’ll be braced.
They will not faze me with their song.
I’ll ask them, “Want a taste?”

by Andrea Wilson

Topics For Discussion:

  • This poem is about inter-racial bullying. Why is being different perceived as a bad thing? What is prejudice?
  • Verbal harassment can hurt every bit as much as a punch or a kick. What can be done about it? What attitude does the narrator propose to take if harassed? What is likely to happen if a bully doesn’t get the reaction he is seeking?
  • What qualities does the narrator display?

Classroom Activities:

  • Make a drawing to illustrate an incident of inter-racial bullying, either personal or global.
  • Taking a stand when you witness an injustice takes courage. Write a brief account of an incident you witnessed which you found to be unfair or unkind. What could you or did you do to intervene? When would it be ill-advised to intervene? If you can’t remember an event, feel free to invent a story.
  • Imagine a world in which everyone is the same. Write a brief description. Would you like to live in that world?

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