Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Here We Go Again

Prompted by the latest event in the news, the shooting of Terence Crutcher in Oklahoma on Friday. My thoughts on what's been going on these last couple months. . .

It is twenty sixteen
and I can not watch the news
Yesterday and now today another
Black person is getting abused
Unarmed, non-violent, doing their own thing
It was them, but could have been me

Here we go again
I pray to God it's never a friend
or family member or self
But it's somebody's son or daughter
The fear is real for this indiscreet slaughter
We are TIRED of the injustice
Of protests that fall on deaf ears

I just finished winning you medals
for swimming, gymnastics, shot put, and what not
You were happily cheering me on
and together we celebrated the red, white, and blue

But now, when black and blue strikes fear
where are you
When I'm walking home in a hoodie
where are you
When my car breaks down and triple A is not there yet
Where are you
because it seems like the only thing I can do
is perform in front of millions
but when I'm all alone
I'm on my own

I celebrate not being in bondage
And what our ancestors have done
but still I have invisible chains
of systematic problems of subconscious and conscious racism
in Twenty Sixteen
whilst we have a Black president

We all have to wear the mask
And I thought by now that maybe I could remove it
But we are all still pretending
you may tan to get darker, but my dark is too dark
my dark is not beautiful, you imply
when my dark is not seen on the television screen
or in plays or musicals
So the only way to get "me" on tv is for
my people to create their own shows
Then you complain why there are no people that look like you in
the Wiz

When I rock my hair au naturale
you imply it's not professional
When I buy some hair and put it atop
you say i'm not being my genuine self
When I wear clothes that snugly fit
you say my curves are inappropriate
When I scream that Black Lives Matter
you SOMEHOW make it about you

So you tell me, when can I win?
Where can I be my authentic self?
How do I stop you from seeing Black and brown
as enemies of black and blue
What is the solution that you propose?
How do we all get along?
In more than just sports and song

Tell me when I can start watching the news again
And not seeing a potential friend
Being attacked with no remorse
and no repercussions

Tell me when I don't have to avoid social media
just not to feel depressed
When living in the free world
but we are under distress

Tell me when it's ok for my little boy
to play with a toy gun in the playground

And lastly, tell me the last time YOU had to write a poem
because you are filled with so much emotion about
what is going on with your race in your own home country.

Lack of acknowledgement that there in fact is a problem,
is part of the problem.

Wake up!