I am a black girl,
I was born with out certain privileges,
And at the rate we’re moving now I might die with out them too.
But that’s all really depressing, let’s not talk about oppression, let’s talk about you
You have two kids and a dog.
You live in a nice neighborhood,
you even have a black friend.
On the news, a little black boy has been shot by the police.
You suck your teeth, turn the channel and say
‘Oh that’s so sad’.
And you sit there and do nothing.
You have a job you value, even if it’s mediocre.
You have many friends and like to go out when you’re free.
Your parents taught you that behind Everyman is a strong woman.
But, also that women should be protected and taken care of.
On the news a black teenage girl was brutally raped and killed
while returning home from a party
You shake your head say,
‘that’s hardly surprising, what was she wearing?
And wonder when the game will come on,
You sit there and do nothing.
You are an average, white American, and, personally,
you think there is too much fuss over nothing.
It can’t be as bad as we say
The police protect people.
Little black kids shouldn’t run around and play with toy guns,
they could kill someone.
Black teens shouldn’t wear hoodies,
they could rob someone.
Black people should be model citizens,
if they want to stay alive.
Black people should really just make themselves so unassuming that the police will leave them alone.
You believe all this and just
sit there and do nothing.
Except, Omar Edwards, An off duty black officer, was shot by an officer from his own precinct
Tried to be a model citizen
Except Missouri state senator, Jamilah Nasheed, a black woman, was arrested for protesting the injustice in Ferguson, even though it was in a peaceful manner.
Except chief of police, Louis Ross, was shot four times by a ‘radical survivalist’ who made a 911 call and the man walked free of charge.
Except when black people are themselves,
Behaving like people deserving respect and equality,
Dressing like they have the right to wear what they want,
The police or some other white person finds a reason to shoot them
Finds a reason to hurt us
Finds a reason to hate people who have done absolutely nothing to deserve it
Then again, should I be surprised?
Surprised that a country built upon the bodies of Native Americans,
Surprised that a country built upon the backs of slaves.
Surprised that a country so overwhelmed with their ‘freedoms’
forget to include the people that actually created this great nation
You are not an average american,
You go to slam poetry readings and nod along like the educated individual you think you are
You follow the crowd and pretend that the issues orated concern you daily.
You tweet several quotes, so your activist friends will think you’re cool.
Nodding and clapping along when prompted.
And then you go home.
Turn on the tv
Forget everything that was said,
And you sit there and do nothing
You have lived your life in almost complete ignorance to the suffering of other cultures
Because, does it /really/ matter?
All Islamic people are all terrorist extremists,
are you sure?
Because less than .5% of all Muslims are part of a radical group.
All Hispanic and Latina people are destructive, illegal immigrants,
uh hello? Did you forget the creation of this nation?
Sort of the pot calling the kettle black,
I mean your people did migrate and kill the natives living here
Black people are always angry, are all thugs and sluts and dogs,
Do you really wonder why, when treated like this, we’re angry?
Let someone ask me why they can’t say the n word, or that cracker is just as bad.
Let someone tell me that these and other cultures fit into neat little stereotypical boxes,
The likes of which you can shelve and carefully organize.
you give in to these carefully constructed stereotypes
Hiding behind them,
Unaware of how idiotic you sound to everyone around you.
You live your life and do nothing.
Until you can’t anymore.
Until you realize that the very people you are condemning,
are just that, people.
People deserving a chance to survive
A chance to thrive and better themselves.
Not just the fact that, it could be you, but that
What does hatred and anger and murdering do?
Besides a senseless loss of life.
Besides the separation of a people living in the same place.
And Until the police get fed up with the upper classes vanity, and start targeting them for the money,
Until they attempt to eradicate the homeless because they can’t support themselves
Until the safety of the middle class,-Until the safety of the American people,
is no longer worth putting on the uniform everyday.
Until our protectors become our attackers
Until neighbors, become an army.
Until they are forcing themselves in /your/ home and on women and children
Until they drag away and beat your loved ones in the middle of the day
Until they are gassing your neighborhoods
And shooting for no reason other than, they have a gun and can get away with it
Until the very minorities and people that needed your help
Until the people that saw this coming
Until there is no one left that understands
When you wake up in a cold sweat
terrified for your family and friends each and everyday.
When you cry when your child says
‘why should I be afraid of the police?, aren’t they Supposed to help us?’
And you have to tell your children,
Your 5-6-7 year old children that they are not safe
And when you flinch when an officer comes near you,
And Cringe when they stop you on the street
When you realize there is nothing left for you to give
Then, you will have to look us in the eye
You will have to look Me in the eye
And You will no longer be able to just sit there and do nothing.