"DEFEAT" - A POEM BY WITTER BYNNER

DEFEAT


On a train in Texas German prisoners eat

With white American soldiers, seat by seat,

While black American soldiers sit apart,

The white men eating meat, the black men heart.

Now, with that other war a century done,

Not the live North but the dead South has won,

Not yet a riven nation comes awake.

Whom are we fighting this time, for God's sake?

Mark well the token of the separate seat.

It is again ourselves whom we defeat.

-Witter Bynner

RESPONSE

1940's....the seat is open to all now.

However the risk to life for an African American has not improved so much. If we look at that question based on health stats, longevity, or death by violence, it's clear the appetite of zombie Jim Crow is still satiated with the blood of African Americans. From this poem to Ferguson is too long a story and too short a journey.

-Colin Greer
President, New World Foundation