This isn't to say that I believe that when racism shows its face that the person behind it is choosing to promote classism, but that ultimately, a racist is helping to ensure that the gap between classes remains firmly set.
But the aforementioned blog notes that while class is a central issue in our politics and our day to day lives, we have very little language to describe those gaps.
Says the blog:
Most Americans refer to themselves as “middle class” while statistics show that most us aren’t “middle class” by a long shot. The language of class seems to be hyperbolic at best. Sure, we can name what it means to be exorbitantly wealthy or extremely poor, but where are the words to describe the rest of us?
It goes on:
If I accept the idea that poetry emphasizes creative and innovative use of language; that poetry allows us to name what, previously, was beyond the grasp of words, how can I not think about class?
I found myself thinking about that divide, and how here in Northern Kentucky, as blissfully ignorant as I try to remain about social class, and as successful as I largely have been able to be, this sort of thing creeps into even my daily life.
The blog mentions, at one point: "Who among us will write poems for Gary, Indiana? Who among us will write poems for Detroit, Michigan? Who among us will write poems for Newark, New Jersey?" If that's not a call to action, I don't know what is. So following is my response in this conversation about class:
First Day of School, Bus 95
Where do I live? I'd pause a second,
then say Villa Hills, watching their eyes.
Because you can tell by them. If they bristle,
it's more than they'll ever say to my face.
And I'll want to say how in California,
we were robbed during school hours,
our piggybanks shattered, their hearts stolen:
10 dollars, maybe, in quarters.
Say that we only had a single floor,
how there was no sidewalk, no real yard,
that the side of the house was a graveyard
of dirt that would grow no grass, how the pungent
smell of weeds reminds me even now of childhood,
and how I'd watch our neighbor every morning,
walking barefoot back from the liquor store,
with a brown paper bag in her hand.
But my uncle left us this house
to give us a chance. So I say nothing.
Or upon hearing where I live,
the eyes will remain calm
as indoor swimming-pool water,
warm and familiar; they live there too.
We'll become cordial , but won't ask
where the other lives, won't ask why
we've never seen one another,
because unlike Ludlow or Covington--
where kids walk the broken sidewalks,
and play football in the streets,
and in the warm days of summer,
sit in lawn chairs at the stoops--
you can go days looking out the windows
in Villa Hills and see only an occasional
jogger, or a homeowner trimming
their trees or edging their lawns.
It is not yet 8 o’clock, the first day of school,
and I've already sworn to myself
that I will never mention where I'm from
without having been asked, and even then,
however it is that I really feel,
I will never say it with a smile.