The Sting of Backlash

Today is Martin Luther King Jr day here in the U.S., and it leaves me with a window of time to reflect on all the privileges I’ve had as a white woman, but also the ways in which I’ve felt voiceless and powerless. And the whole process of gained freedoms and then a return to out-dated thinking, well there’s no better term for it than backlash.

Why must we go through this cycle to experience change? All of or fates our intertwined, and so I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences with backlash.

Let freedom ring!


The Sting of Blacklash

Flinch before they ask;

that’s the sting of backlash.

Three steps forward,

two steps off-track.

when panic and hatred and bigotry attack

equality falls through cruel, steel cracks.

Separate, but equal,

racial slurs for the people,

poke fun at each others’ biological facts.

Stereotypes sting, and

an honest conversation

is a disagreeable task.

They say its your privacy,

but then they ask and ask.

We’re all slaves to something;

we all turn our backs,

ready ourselves for another lash.

© 2023 | K.Hartless

The Backlash Blues
by Langston Hughes


Mister Backlash, Mister Backlash,
Just who do you think I am?
You raise my taxes, freeze my wages,
Send my son to Vietnam
You give me second class houses,
Second class schools.
Do you think that colored folks
Are just second class fools?

When I try to find a job
To earn a little cash,
All you got to offer
Is a white backlash.

But the world is big,
Big and bright and round–
And it’s full of folks like me who are
Black, Yellow, Beige, and Brown.

Mister Backlash, Mister Backlash
What do you think I got to lose?
I’m gonna leave you, Mister Backlash,
Singing your mean old backlash blues.

You’re the one
Will have the blues.
Not me–
Wait and see!

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