Social Justice Poetry

misinformation poems

A Nation in Shame | A Social Justice Poem by Roy Pullam

When unknown truths
Tumble from their hiding places
The ugly knowledge
That feet of clay
Crumble before our eyes
And idols
Fall from their lofty places
Fact falls into quicksand
And all we know
Retreats to doubt
When the brain
Divides into poles
Of disgust
And yet we still feel love
Two feelings
We juggle
Trying to hold both
Reputation erodes
So easy to forget
The good men do
In the face
Of their failings
And we are reminded
Of what a miserable time
We live in

Fake News | A Social Justice Poem by J.K. Durick

The poor, of course, are
moving up, as promised,
while the middle class

feels comfortably in place,
and corporations open up
make way for the many;

the great unwashed of us
wash up to process, to march
on Washington to give thanks;

we are the banner headlines,
the backstory, the latest tweet,
a rumor, an odd bit of gossip,

we’re what’s left after storms
let up, after the forest fires,
house fires go out for good;

we are a budget deficit, a tax
cut, an underfunded program,
a wall worth building after all.

The “Backfire Effect” – Untruth versus Poetry | A Social Justice Poem by Howard Richard Debs

So Chicken Licken believes the sky is falling
because an acorn drops upon his head; he
tells his close associate Henny Penny who
is flabbergasted at the thought and the
two march off to warn as many as possible
as quickly as they can, those such as
Goosey Loosey, Turkey Lurkey, Ducky Lucky,
all greatly concerned about their pending
doom and wondering how they
might ward off this catastrophe. They
urgently go together to see Cocky Locky,
known to be a problem solver without compare
and after presenting their case, he responds
in his usual measured and steady manner:
“The facts are these my friends” he begins,
“look up and see the sky is still in its place
on high above, the clouds still sail by
following the winds aloft, there
is nary a piece of firmament displaced,
the evidence is as clear as the day itself.”
But the others are unconvinced, even more
so do they fear their time has come, it is the end.
Instead of being comforted by the logic given, they
yet more staunchly conclude they are in harm’s way.
They start to run wildly about, trying to escape many
are trampled in the melee, and blindly fleeing
the remaining horde falls off a cliff and dies.
“Belief is the stronger of the truth.”

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Author’s note: It’s been a rough time for the truth. Now I know why. Buried in a social science journal is the answer, the “backfire effect.” Misinformed people do not change their minds once they have been presented with facts that challenge their beliefs, au contraire they are likely to become more attached to their mistaken beliefs, so assert the experts. We need something more than facts to turn the tide against untruth. I urge poetry.