Be clear,

be very clear,

that respecting 

the needs and rights of 

ever human is

not up for negotiation.


Anything less than respect 

is not acceptable,

not moral,

not rational,

not to be condoned

if we are to have 

a fair and just society

where the individual

matters and where seeking

the good is a priority.


Be clear,

be very clear,

that I will fight

for that respect,

and I will not tolerate

the gradual watering 

down of respect

through clever talk,

ignorance, neglect

and subtle shifts of policy.


We all know respect

as a warm friend 

and we all see when

this friend is stolen away

and with it the dignity 

of people whose lives

are assigned less value

in the cold space of otherness.


Be clear,

be very clear,

that this is a cause, prima ordinis,

one that must be at the

forefront of our collective conscience

as a country,

as a society,

as a community,

as families,

if we are to truly and fully

call ourselves human beings.