Do the Math

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Below is the poem entitled Do the Math which was written by poet Freddie Robinson Jr.. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Do the Math


Fifty stars
and
thirteen stripes
Wavy patriotic mathematician
do the math ... 
Subtraction or addition,
what will the numbers be,
37 or 63?
Slavery took away my parents’ human rights,
and their children’s dignity
I got 59 stripes to show 
	what was done to me ...
every year on this earth,
	I’ve seen my people mistreated wickedly
Promises, promises
was the number 40
plus 1
Forty acres and a mule
Reparation was a cheap trade-off
	for my ancestors’s suffering and misery
But, that promissory note
still ain’t never been given to me
Subtraction ends with a negative number obviously
Minus zero
is deeper than a 6 feet hole
It’s so cold inside the modern slave quarters,
the project pipes are froze
Go bury the bones, now there’s less to feed — 
politicians playing oppression dominoes
Moving over to the addition side 
of the patriotic math equation
I got a lot of woe heaped on my poor poverty:
more income inequality,
	more housing discrimination illegality
More police brutality,
and much, much more drugs pouring into
every ghetto community
Add it all up, this is what I see:
red, white and blue platitudes is suffocating me
Red is our labor paid with blood
White is our cotton weary purity
Blue is our ocean of perpetual grief
But there’s more to the patriotic math problem,
	come take a look-see
We got multiplication and division
to intellectually wrestle with morally
Stripping away health care and welfare
has multiplied the cries of the poor
Mob rule, and his thug buddy, crime does too ... 
gun violence got bodies piling up at the morgue
Multiply the pain of parents
whose kids go milk carton missing
Spreading fear cancer in the affected area,
		killing hope
The disease of apathy is multiplying faster 
than campaign corruption smoke
Do the math you dope ...
Depression numbers are climbing astronomically,
		higher than you can see
in a Hubble space telescope
Yet, it’s division that takes away
most of the social gains garnered over the years
Factor in the algorithms of hate,
separating forces of social valency
Divide the bond of racial harmony,
cancel out certain colors in the voting crayon box
Do the math ... and understand,
	       division is a common denominator pox
And last on the patriotic math problem list
is fractions and percentages
That’s how the Revolutionary colonies’ tax returns
were itemized in the beginning
Three fifths ...
Sixty percent human
Slaves were never counted to be worth much,
tax write-off humans who were sub
Back to the future with another tax cut
And after all this time, they still be 
doing the same math with a king George touch,
	using Orwellian integers
Strange, arcane math symbols and figures
Do the math ...
Some stars are more equal than others,
some stripes are brighter than another
Math numbers don’t lie,
only Cain people who hate their brother

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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Date: 12/10/2017 5:03:00 AM
Wow! This is so deep and so true! The power of words indeed! And the last phrase is just wow!! “Only Cain people who hate their brothers”” definitely a favorite. Great poem. great words. and best of all an amazing message
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Date: 12/8/2017 5:44:00 PM
I think this is the best poem I've read on here so far. Very powerful message beautifully expressed.
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Date: 12/6/2017 4:17:00 PM
WoW! Freddie, What can I say about this deep and powerful write? I found it to be a hard hitting in your face thought provoking write. The repeated use of " Do The Math" made this powerful write more impactful. Your pen never seases to amaze me. Excellent job my talented friend:-) Alexis
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Date: 12/5/2017 5:00:00 AM
This is such a powerful write.. So unique... Brilliantly done... I loved it totally... Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece...
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Date: 12/4/2017 10:44:00 AM
Sharp pen dear poet! Much love xomo
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Date: 12/4/2017 9:43:00 AM
Wonderful...This message should be shared...I've heard few say the things you've said so eloquently... All the best to you Freddie
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Date: 12/4/2017 9:28:00 AM
Freddie, I am lost in your world of unique lines. This is indeed a poetic Mathematics! I doff my hat.
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Date: 12/4/2017 9:20:00 AM
Powerful write!
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