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Tolerance of Diversity

Prose Poem by Frank Zahn

How unfortunate that people cling
to their country’s cultural heritage
in spite of its failure to provide
an environment for human dignity,
except for a privileged few. And
how clever of the privileged few to
promise reforms with great displays
of compassion and concern while
using their power over the people’s
faith and freedom to undermine,
and if necessary quell, attempts
to break free of the cultural heritage.

Brimming with sensitivity and good
intentions, those who argue for
tolerance of diversity in support of
a country’s cultural heritage help
sustain it and sentence generations
more to the human indignity that its
characteristics of illiteracy, poverty,
political corruption, and tyranny ensure.

Those who bridle sensitivity and good
intentions with reason and historical
evidence stand their ground, and no
matter how maligned, say to all
the world, “There is nothing sensitive
or good about tolerance of diversity
when it comes at the expense of human
dignity, and there is nothing insensitive
or bad about intolerance of diversity
in the defense of human dignity.”

 

Copyright ©2000 Frank Zahn. Published in The Criterion, Volume 6 Issue IV August 2015; Perceptions: Prose and Other Poetry, Grove 49 eBooks (Smashwords and Kindle Editions) 2016.

 

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