Ugly Words

Ugly words have a history,
muttered under vile breath
or spit into the face
of their target,
the fallback of cowards
and the ignorant.
fag, freak, nigger, wetback,
chink, towel head

Other ugly words have
become an accepted norm,
the first attack in defense
of ideas, policies
and perceptions of oppression.
racist, bigot, uncle tom,
chauvinist, intolerant

There is a forgotten concept
once promoted by those seeking
an equal voice, the idea
that we can disagree without
the necessity of hate.

Let us debate based on the merit
of our ideas,
and do not assume my dissent
has anything to do with your race,
gender, religion or station,

we might simply disagree.



Filed under Poetry

14 responses to “Ugly Words

  1. Great wisdom. And I agree wholeheartedly.

  2. so true…anger seems the only way to make a point…and what equality is there really when we have to take the life of another in order to get it….which we do in our hate speech…

  3. we can disagree without
    the necessity of hate….. so very true… the art of discussing – the art of allowing others to have a different opinion without hating them for it – we have to re-learn this

  4. You hit a sore nerve here. to me it seems the world is walking a path of separation.. if you are not with us, you are against us.. I see it happening and it’s most discomforting…..

  5. “…we can disagree without the necessity of hate”….oh how I wish everyone could understand that!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for saying it so well.

  6. I agree, Mark that we should be able to disagree without hating. I guess that if you hate you just cannot listen and evolve. The recent European elections have sadly shown too much hate and not enough discussion.

  7. Your poem makes an excellent point, Mark. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if we could disagree without someone saying it was because of their race or religion or whatever. If only we could debate issues as issues once again!

  8. Oh, this is so spot on, Mark. Sometimes we simply don’t agree, and that is fine by me.


  9. Disagreement without hate would be a wonderful state to be in. Not agreeing with someone else and respecting that is an ideal. The fine art of reasoned debate has been lost and the world has become polarised. Well written, indeed.

  10. scotthastiepoet

    Hi Mark, strong message here that is worth listening to…

    “There is a forgotten concept
    once promoted by those seeking
    an equal voice, the idea
    that we can disagree without
    the necessity of hate.” would that it were so and there’s no reason why it can’t be… With Best Wishes Scott

  11. Wonderful. Yes, the ability to simply disagree with someone seems to be lost these days. Thoughtful, spirited debate is disappearing. A great loss. Thank you – I really loved this. – Vivienne, of OneVoicePoetry, with Bjorn, et al.

  12. I once tried to explain something to another fellow, and his answer was “you’re just mean” – I laughed, if anyone who doesn’t agree is just mean, what a simple and enchanted life we must live. What I am saying is your poem reminded me words matter.

  13. Yes, we can disagree, and walk on–no need to throw down the gauntlet.

  14. hypercryptical

    Great wisdom here – if only we would follow it…
    Anna :o]

Some of what I write is true, some is fiction; most is merely possibility.

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