Literature

Young Politician: A Poem

“Young Politician”

As I sit here reading about policy briefs, I hesitate, then pray for our commander in chief.

I may not agree, he didn’t receive my vote, but I am patriotic so I will maintain hope.

As a person someday soon running for office, I maintain integrity as I try to win over my caucus.

Stigmas are there, you will corrupt, your morals will go bare, but I say no, money and power will not move my hand, will not change my views, I don’t care if alone I stand.

Low funding will make difficult obtaining an electorate, but with hard work and perseverance never being separate, I believe, I predict, a change will occur, all people will unite and democracy will endure.

A flood will WASH out, flINGing TONs, remove the poison of buying power, of swearing in sons.

Maybe this is all just a young politicians dream, creating an ideological view of our decision making teams.

Once more I say that this is what I strive for, equality, dignity, and the ability to find more.

This is just my view of what America should provide, my goal is to stand for those I represent.

I promise I will never hide.

Learning by doing is the only way, I meet with my representatives to understand the game they play.

Association leaders and coalitions alike, observing humanities definition creates an adrenaline spike.

Everyone has a stake for this is just the life we live, controlling our outcomes, finding a way to give.

Back to the community and back to the land.

Making sure the environment has a person for which with to stand.

The media may only try to show some of the viscous side, but our leaders do care for people, their jobs just happen to coincide.

A difficulty will be the fact of reelection, without missing the point of why I represent a collection.

A collection of people and of their visions.

For the future, for the culture, there is always some missions.

There are back room discussions about how to make our nation great, some see national politics as hard to relate.

I plan to start small, just a county man for now, that’s all.

But if life were to take me to the big time, I promise to never commit a crime.

Once again the struggle is to truly work for the people, the ones who worship no one and those under the steeple.

Those new to this country and those here for generations.

Creating positive change is possible, but there are always implications.

Tradeoffs and realities are hard to ignore.

For most people this is a continuous bore.

Another goal is to never neglect the process.

This is the only way to truly make progress.

I know there will be dissent and I can handle the heat.

Because I want to be the politician that everyone can meet.

That everyone can trust and rely on to do what’s best.

My approval rating will however not be that test.

It will be the smiles on all the faces of the people’s lives I have changed.

And maybe in the future another hopeful will have a meeting arranged.

My final wish is that the next generation will be even better.

More honest, more caring, and tougher than leather.

That is how this country has continued to grow.

It will never be easy however, so everyone just prepare for a show.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Oliver Bildesheim/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Why Are There So Few Minority Characters In YA Books?

Representation in all walks of life has been in the spotlight recently. And one area that is full of controversy is what young people are exposed to in books that often help inform them during some of the most important years of their lives.

A study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that out of the 3,400 books that they received for 2015, 106 were by Black authors and 269 were about Black characters, and 58 were by Latino authors and 82 were about Latino characters.

Malinda Lo, a YA novelist, has been following the uptick in LGBT+ YA.

According to Lo, “In 2014, mainstream publishers published 47 LGBT YA books. This is a 59% increase from 2013, when only 29 LGBT YA books were published by mainstream publishers.”

Yes, these statistics look optimistic, but they are still not what they should be.

So what is the damage done when proper representation can’t be ascertained?

All groups suffer because such lack of representation fails to encapsulate the differences between different people; essentially, one person is not the whole.

“I think the tendency has been to reduce Latino characters as this one thing or Asian characters as this one thing, Muslim characters as one thing, and the fact is that we’re people,” Meg Medina, a Cuban-American writer of YA books and an Advisory Chair for the group We Need Diverse Books, said in a interview with RISE NEWS. “And all of those very specific identifiers and experiences shape how we move. It’s what makes us people.”

Meg Medina, a well known Cuban-American YA author. Photo Credit: Meg Medina/ Facebook.

Meg Medina, a well known Cuban-American YA author. Photo Credit: Meg Medina/ Facebook.

Read More: #IfMenHadPeriods Is Well Intentioned But Also Very Flawed

The effects of poor representation of minority groups are not limited to people of color.

Alex Gino uses the singular they pronoun and wrote George, a YA book about a trans girl that won the 2016 Stonewall Book Award.

“It’s important to remember that each trans experience is unique and different the way that each cis experience, the way that each trans experience, the way that each gay or queer experience is unique,” Gino said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “And so I wouldn’t even say that one trans story can cover it, or one gay story would cover it. There’s nothing quite like finding someone like yourself in a book.”

Leaps and bounds have been made in representation, however, despite this work, there are still advances to be made.

For example, Lo estimated that 1.9% to 2.4% of YA books published in 2013 had LGBT+ characters or dealt with LGBT+ issues.

YA author Alex Gino at a book signing in 2015. Photo Credit: Alex Gino/Facebook

YA author Alex Gino at a book signing in 2015. Photo Credit: Alex Gino/Facebook

“There is a lot of work to be done. I think that we only started to drill down into the many experiences that make up being a young person,” Medina said. “I think there are lots of questions in publishing now, like who’s writing these stories? Are they authentic, are they not authentic, are they written from sort of an outsider point of view, people imagining what it’s like to be x y or z, are they generally writers of color? I think when we have many people at the table with many points of view, the books that get published are richer, are more nuanced, are truer stories of real peoples’ lives.”

Gino seemed to agree with that sentiment.

“I think that we are scratching the surface of the stories that are available to be told, and the stories that are available to read,” Gino said. “I think that we need more books by diverse people and we also need more diverse groups of people publishing the books, so that stories that are being picked have more things to offer.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Amber McKinney/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“Huckleberry Finn”: Philadelphia High School Strikes Classic Over N-Word Use

A suburban Philadelphia school is removing “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” from its 11th grade curriculum because of the book’s prevalent use of the N-word. After a forum for students and faculty, the administration of Friends’ Central School decided to strike the 1885 Mark Twain classic from its American literature class for juniors, The Philadelphia Inquirer… Read More

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