Poem – Darwin Award

Why do I hate it when you say ‘darwin award’?

because you are trying to protect yourself from something by saying it hurts dumb people, so it can’t hurt me
but it can

because Darwinism isn’t about what you think it is about
because Darwin isn’t about what you think he is
because my relationship to the history of science
and to the history of faux science
runs deep, and the meaning of your statement
expands in my mind
way beyond what you mean
and it fills me with despair

you wish death on people
you relish the idea of a deserved death
inside a mad world
where death comes to the people helping us
to the people helping them

Social Darwinism is steeped in a history of rich American racism
a racism that is reflected in the deaths in my city
why is this killing black people?
because the society we live in doesn’t believe black lives matter
I don’t know how to navigate
when you say
‘Darwinism’ what I hear is
I don’t understand history
I don’t understand science
I’m scared
I’m angry
I want to feel in control of the uncontrollable

and to me
it means you are just as bad as the people you wish harm on
and I don’t know how to explain
I am too interested in the history of science
I am steeped in pop science and faux science of the past
I can’t explain to you that
this isn’t what Darwin would have wanted
that this isn’t how evolution works
this isn’t about evolution, or Darwin or Social Darwinism

you don’t know about the racist history of science
the intersections of eugenics and meaning-making

every time I read your comments of
– Let Darwinism take them out
– Give them a Darwin award
I hear an echo of a history of racism and hatred that I can’t convey
I don’t know how to explain
it’s a history deep and old
and it isn’t about science
and it is about hatred and division

please stop it
please don’t say it anymore
I don’t want to read it
every time I do
I revisit a history you don’t care about
and I can’t stop you

you say ‘natural selection’
with a sneer
like it will protect you
like it will save you
and that isn’t how it works
you’re looking at death
and making it the other

Originally posted on facebook

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