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Challenging Our Prejudices

This is another of the poems that I love. I used it a lot in my teaching when I was lecturing at University. What I most respect about this poem is that it so skilfully connects the broader social issues of discrimination and oppression to the more individual

issues about our connections to ourselves.


Urged To Deny The Secrets


Urged to deny the secrets within our natures

And to reject the differences of others

We are taught to be fearful of ourselves

And contemptuous of others.

Separated from ourselves and isolated from each other

We are taught to huddle together for comfort

Under the socially acceptable banners 

Of racism, sexism, classism, homophobia – 

We are discouraged from seeing the ways in which 

We are all connected

We are thus rendered powerless

And immobilised by our prejudices

This is not an accident.


Blanche Wiesen Cook


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