Mr. Gates, Help Me Open Windows
Exposing the real crime in Cambridge (and elsewhere)
Yes, he tried to open windows,
but that proved a big mistake.
You'd think that not a problem
for a man whose name is Gates.
What happened back in Cambridge
near that town best known for tea
was an operating system
that could not be called PC.
It exposed the unveiled vista
we pretend does not exist
of a nation where black people
top the "can't be trusted" list.
What if after your vacation
you returned home without keys
and you tried the doors and windows
while your neighbors called police?
Wouldn't you be pretty angry
and the source of endless grief
if they branded you a burglar
and then cuffed you as a thief?
Would the same thing Gates encountered
have occurred to one less tan?
I would bet a different outcome
for a paler key-less man.
Sad to say the door marked EQUAL
still remains most often locked.
It is time we force it open.
The real crime is simply talk.
* Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the black Harvard professor who was arrested after entering his own home without a key when a neighbor called authorities assuming it was a break-in.
* The above poem has been updated since it was originally published. In the original post I implied that the neighbor who called the police on Mr. Gates knew the "alleged intruder" was black. Subsequent to posting the poem I read a transcript of the 911 call that indicated the neighbor did not know the skin color of the person.
The Heat is On
Sounding off about Seattle's Heat Wave
I don't know 'bout global warming.
I just know I cannot sleep.
It's an oven in my bedroom,
much too hot for counting sheep.
Though they call this season summer,
I think simmer's more correct.
Since we have no air conditioning,
I'm a sleepless nervous wreck.
Yesterday we broke a record
1-0-3 humid degrees.
In Seattle that's unheard of.
It is known for seventies.
But perhaps God sent this heat wave
to convert our pagan state.
When the temperature's like Hades,
some might move t'ward Heaven's gate.