DISCLAIMER: I do not own Dave Matthews

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Dave Matthews. I do not own bus 94-4. I do not own

those two twitty freshmen (thank god). I do not own a weaver bird, because I would not

be able to stand keeping it inside a golden cage. I do own my opinions and I have a right

to say whatever I darn well please, and if anyone has a problem with that they can just go

read the US Constitution a few hundred times and leave me alone.

Cry Freedom

Dave Matthews

How can I turn away

Brother/Sister go dancing

Through my head

Human as to human

The future is no place

To place your better days

I'm different. I know I am. I don't think the was other people do, and then I sit

around wondering why that is so. Try as I might, I don't understand other people. I don't

see why they feel the need to act the way they do. Don't they see how wrong they are?

How can they not realize their ignorance, their narrowmindedness?

Sometimes I catch myself thinking things I don't want to think. If I'm mad at

someone, I start to imagine all sorts of evil things I could do to them. But then I stop. I

tell myself, Everyone is human. Everyone has different sides of themselves that they

show different people, I can't judge them based on how they treat me in particular. I have

to remember that I don't know everything, I could be the one that's not being right.

But then I see people acting so horribly I ask myself if I could be wrong about that

particular subject.

Cry freedom, cry

From a crowd 10,000 wide

Hope laid upon hope

That this crowd will not subside

Let this flag burn to dust

And a new a fair design be raised

While we wait head in hands,

Hands in prayer

And fall into a dreamless sleep again

And we wave our hands

When I was in eighth grade I joined the winterguard. When we had competitions

very far away, we'd stay at a hotel. The day we arrived we would go to one of the schools

in the district to practice in their gymnasium, then we'd have the competition the next

day. Well, one time when the bus pulled up to the school we were to practice in, there

was a bunch of kids hanging around, talking, you know, the normal teenager stuff. Just

chillin, it was all good. I didn't see any problem, but apparently the authority figures that

were present did. They announced, "When you get off the bus, don't talk to ANYONE."

Personally, I was quite tempted to, upon exiting the vehicle, walk right up to one

of those kids and say, "Hi! How are you?" But I didn't. I curse myself for my lack of guts

(back then I didn't have the balls to stand up to the narrowminded jerks with all the

power).

I'm pretty sure that had the adults not said anything about the kids outside, no one

would've really noticed and everything would've been normal. I sure would't've gotten so

ticked off I cursed the director's name every chance I got (well, more than usual that is).

It just burns me up that they had to go and openly display their ignorance, and try to

impose their will on others. I don't see what the big deal was. Kids are kids. Those

adults were unreasonably paranoid about people they didn't even know, had never met

before in their lives, just because they were the commanders of a busload of middle class

white kids. And everyone outside was black.

I may be blind to colors. The grown-ups are blind to others' humanity.

Hands and feet are all alike

But gold between divide us

Hands and feet are all alike

But fear between divide us

All slip away

Cultural diffusion: the spreading of ideas or products from one culture to another.

Some people need to read their global book more often. Especially the two

freshmen girls sitting behind me on my last bus trip. I had to deal with two hours of

mindless chatter, and they weren't even chattering about their own conversation. No, they

were listening to what other people were talking about, and making stupid comments to

each other about what they heard. For example, two boys a couple rows behind them

were talking about Boy Scouts. Good for them, the Boy Scouts are great, if it weren't for

that whole religion thing they've got going on, and the fact that I'm a girl, I would've

joined. At one point while the boys were talking, one of the aforementioned twitty

freshmen girls said, "God! They've been talking about Boy Scouts for an hour and a half,

can't they find something BETTER to talk about?!" Now, excuse me, dear readers, but

don't you think that she should've just minded her own business and let them be? What

they were saying didn't involve her, certainly didn't harm her, so why did she think she

had the right to dictate what they could and could not say?

I had to put up with two hours of this. And that was just on the way there.

Well, we got to our destination, we did what we had to do, then we returned to the

bus. The two girls were again sitting behind me. While the bus was still in the parking

lot, getting ready to hit the road, the freshmen took to looking out the window at all the

people walking around. Looking for victims. They found one; a college boy walking

nearby. They rolled down their window, and one of them yelled at the top of her lungs,

"Hey! Don't you know you're white?!"

Apparently she deemed his wardrobe inappropriate and therefore unforgivable.

She and her friend laughed at how "witty" the two of them thought they were.

Thinking they were so great, they didn't even stop to realize their own ignorance. Who

were they to decide how someone they didn't even know dress and look? Did they think

they were better than everyone else, that they could be the ultimate omnipotent beings

and force everyone else to conform to their personal idea of style, of individuality?

I did not say this out loud to them, partly because I knew my words would have

no effect on them, and partly because I had a feeling they hadn't the slightest clue as to

what "omnipotent" means. What I DID say, however, was this: "My, aren't WE full of

ourselves?"

The one who heard me thought this was insanely funny. She did not say anything

to me, but instead leaned over the back of her seat to tell the person behind her what I'd

just said and have a good laugh at my expense. Three feet away from me. Well within

hearing distance. I swear to god, in the name of Medgar Evers and all that is good in this

world, I sat there just waiting for the two of them to say something in a disparaging

manner in reference to race. I inwardly dared them to, so that I could turn around and

give them the biggest verbal lashing of their lives. Granted, thanks to their limited

valley-girl vocabulary, they wouldn't've been able to understand half of what I was

saying, but I ignored that fact. I really wanted to let loose on them. Part of me, the part

representing the dark side of human nature, wanted to take my pen and just shove it

through their skulls, but I did not for even a second consider actually doing it. Ignorant,

venemous, and stupid as they were, they were still human, and thanks to that pedigree I

would never dare harm them. Maybe I have too much respect for humankind. I don't

know. They didn't say anything else that was too offensive, just acted like psycho drunks,

for the rest of the ride back home, so I just let it slide. Confrontations stress me out,

anyways.

There was a window and by it stood

A mirror in which

He could see himself

He thought of something

Something he had never had but

Hoped would come along

Cry freedom, cry

From deep inside

Where we are all confined

While we wave hands in fire

Wave our hands

There is a boy in my school named Sean. He is autistic. I have known him for

five years, and I cannot begin to explain how much he has changed and improved during

that time. He is a nice person, a good person. Sure he may be a little difficult at times, if

you don't know how to deal with him, but if you just listen to what he says and

understand the meaning behind his words, you can see his humanity and his goodness

shining through the barriers.

I have always tried to be nice to Sean, and I expect others to do the same. At the

very least, those who've known him longest, who were with him in grade school and

should be as respectful of him as I am. I had always thought that the group of us had a

tacit agreement to always defend and respect Sean. I thought they understood. But

unfortunately that is not always the case. I am in track, and this year Sean joined as well.

I'm proud of him, that he was brave enough to do that, when he must've known what kind

of crap he was going to have to go through.

During practice one day in the beginning of the season we were all running laps

around the block. I heard a group of boys come up behind me, laughing and talking

loudly. They were talking about Sean. And the leader of the group, the instigator of the

conversation, was Jack. Good old Jack, who had once been part of our fifth grade class.

I was furious with him, I could not believe he was saying such things, and with a clear

conscience no less. I'm sure that if I'd said anything, the boys just would've been rude

and start talking about me instead, therefore causing me to lose any shred of respect I had

previously gained from them. I was selfish, I know. I used to try so hard for people to

like me, and subconsciously I still do, and I couldn't bring myself to speak out. I had

momentarily forgotten that they weren't the kind of people I should want as friends, and

in wanting their respect and friendship I had comprimised my beliefs, my morals. Then I

was just furious with myself for being so weak.

A few weeks ago at practice, I was looking for the pole-vault poles so I could get

some training done, and the sprinters were on the track doing 100's. The coach, a very

psycho and insane man, decided to race the boys. They all got in the starting blocks, and

before the rest of them could begin the race, Chad, who was in a goofy mood that day,

started running down the track all by himself. He was acting like, pardon my choice of

language, a steryotypical "retard." Or at least, that's what it seemed like to the coach,

who proceeded to yell Sean's name in an accusatory manner in Chad's general direction.

Everyone laughed, the coach, the boys, the girls. Except me. After thanking the

indifferent gods that Sean was not at practice that day, I began to get very, very angry

with the coach. What kind of role model was he being? What kind of example was he

setting? He was pretty much telling impressionable teenagers that it's okay to make fun

of people who are different than them. Sure, he's told them all that he's not the best

choice for a role model, but did he really think they were smart enough to listen? Did he

actually assume that they could tell the difference between right and wrong, especially

just after he'd acted in a typical Nazi-style mindset and displayed no remorse? I wanted

to tell him all this. I wanted to scream at him, completely flip out. But again, I lacked

enough balls to take action. All I could do was confer with him in a cold manner for the

rest of the day. I knew that my words would have no effect on him. And if they did, it

would just be that he didn't like being castigated in front of his flock, and he'd

immediately ask for my uniform and kick me off the team. He threatened to do that the

last time I yelled at him, and this time I'm sure he would not have hesitated.

Hands and feet are all alike

But gold between divide us

Hands and feet are all alike

But fear between divide us,

Slip away

Sean does the long jump. The long jump pit is right next to the pole vault pit, and

one day a few of the boys suggested to him that he should try pole vault. Sean's arms are

the size of my wrist. I knew if he tried to go through with it, if he didn't end up getting

killed, he'd make a fool of himself and everyone would laugh derisively at the little joke

they'd played on him. So while Sean was on the runway getting ready to try, I stopped

him and pulled him aside. I asked him if he was trying this because he wanted to, or

because the boys told him he wanted to. I said that those boys were jerks, they enjoyed

being mean, and he should not listen to them or let them get to him. He said it was

impossible to ignore them. I told him it was, he just had to remember that those boys

were jerks, they were assholes, they were nothing. He had to remember that, I told him.

I suggested that if he really, sincerely wanted to try pole vault, he should wait and let the

coach show him how to do it correctly so he wouldn't get hurt. Sean handed me the pole

and went back to the long jump. I walked down to the mats where all the boys were

sitting looking disappointed, tossed the pole down next to them and said, "Your game's

over." Then I went back to work. I'm sure they talked badly of me, probably called me a

bitch and everything, but I didn't really care. I was the veteran, I'd been vaulting for two

years, there was no way those rookies were going to intimidate me, try to kick me out of

MY pit. They had no respect for Sean, they had no respect for me, and once again I

reminded myself of their humanity. Humans have many faces, evils and demons and

goodness and angels, all wrapped up into one complex individual. I say this again, who

am I to judge?

In this room stood a little child

And in this room this little child

She would remain

Until someone might decide

To dance this little child

Across this hall

Into a cold, dark, space

Where she might never trace her

Way across this crooked mile

Across this crooked page

Cry freedom, cry

From deep inside where

We are all confined

Till we wave our hands

I heard a story once, about a very special bird in South Africa, called the weaver

bird. What makes the weaver bird so special is it's nest. Although other, ordinary birds

also nest, this one is different. It's large nest is built by and home to many other weaver

birds. Though they are all unrelated, from many different families, they all work together

to create their dwelling. They all live together, yet they are so different; there's yellow

ones and red ones, white ones and black ones, and none of them care about those

differences, because they are all weaver birds. They are all different, and they are all the

same.

How can I turn away

Brother/Sister go dancing

Through my head

Human as to human

The future is no place

To place your better days

Hands and feet are all alike

But gold between divide us

Hands and feet are all alike

But fear between divide us

Hands and feet are all alike

Hear what I say

Hear what I say

Oh, so be it

How can I turn away

Brother/Sister go dancing through my head

Human as to human

The future is no place

To place your better days.