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Rushing wins Project Poet’s second round

October 8, 2014
By cnp
Posted in Student Events

Amanda Rushing's poem about Dora the Explorer and racism took top honors in the second round of Project Poet, held Tuesday night in front of an audience of more than 160 students, faculty and staff in the MacLean Hall formal lounge.

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Amanda Rushing took home top honors in the second round of Project Poet with her poem, "An Open Letter About Exploring."

Rushing, a senior from Wynne, Ark., topped 12 other contestants in the "character" challenge to gain immunity in next week’s third round.  The title of her poem was, "An Open Letter About Exploring."

The other nine contestants who advanced to the third round were, Samuel Binns, Sandra Davis, Daniel Garcia, Haley Gilliam, Roger Marlow, Heather Neely, Phoebe Randle, Utah Robertson and Sarah Valentine. 

"An Open Letter About Exploring"

When they look at me like that
Identity is something I lack
For it is not truly me they see,
But rather the me they wish me to be.

I see the accusation in their eyes
And soon I hear it in their tone
As they say to one another
"Why don’t they all just go home?"

Home?  Home?
I was born right here!
I grew up on this boardwalk
I know these same streets

Oh, I get it,  It’s only the Spanish you see
You deplore me because you think I’m simply exploring
Or worse abusing this nation you treasure
Well, I’ll tell you what, it’s really been a pleasure

Now I think it’s time for you to know
What I truly think of your lovely "home"

Your house is built on hypocrisy
In schools you preach how people
Walked out on injustice
They sat in against discrimination

In the past, you claim, the problem went away
Like racism is something that simple to fix.
Like America isn’t continually being mixed.
By the method you keep the problem at bay

The truth of the matter is in your gaze,
"This is America, speak English," you say.
A simple sentence, a spear to my soul,
Hazed by hatred, it takes its toll.

I used to imagine I was an explorer
Finding strange new lands of wonder
Meeting people different from me
There wasn’t anything I didn’t want to see.

But if age has taught me anything
Not everyone is as open as me

So as I close the letter
I hope you’d consider not being so bitter,
Start by exploring your own mind
You never know what you might find.

Ever yours,
Dora the Explorer