by J Fredericka
Have you noticed that police shootings are commonplace?
I mean for people like you and me, with brown faces.
I see traces of tears and fear on the faces of black mothers
and anger and despair on the faces of her husband, her sons.
Her daughters cry out, “WHERE IS JUSTICE?”
And then try to block out the voice yelling back, “Black girl, for you, there is none”.
And after all these years, it’s still the same old American story.
It’s horrific. It’s brutal. It’s bloody.
This American story, so full of racism, hatred, and violence.
Please don’t caution me to keep the peace when all you want me to do is keep silent.
And that story you keep trying to sell me about equal opportunity, I just don’t buy it.
You’re not the one out here everyday trying to prove your life has value.
How many chokeholds will there be before you’re haunted by the voice of Eric Garner’s “I Can’t Breathe”?
How many times will standing your ground mean killing another Trayvon Martins for being guilty of carrying skittles and iced tea?
How many Renisha McBrides will knock on a white man’s door and get a shotgun to the head?
How many Rekia Boyds, just chilling at the park will be shot dead?
How many Oscar Grants will be shot while face down, hands cuffed behind his back?
How many Michael Browns with their “Hands up, Don’t Shoot” will still be viciously attacked?
How many Tarika Wilsons will be killed while holding their one-year-old son?
How many 7-year-old Aiyana Jones will be killed before her life has even begun?
I may not know all of their names but I can still see the bloodstained concrete.
And Mr. Officer, how can you be responsible to protect and serve the community
When all that protecting and serving you’re doing don’t include me?
And then you look at Ferguson and wonder why the protests, why the unrest?
But how long did you think you could step on the necks of oppressed people before they would fight back?
And don’t you for a moment think Ferguson is an anomaly
No! Ferguson is Philly, ATL, Chicago, LA, Detroit, DC
Is it me, or is 2014 looking more and more like 1960?
With racism still woven into every system…
With disparities in education that leave entire communities poverty stricken…
With third grade black boys lined up to ride the pipeline to prison…
With police using excessive force as modern-day lynchings…
With unreasonable fear of black people because of the skin God put us in…
And sometimes I sit in my room wondering if God is really listening.
But I gotta believe that God hears and sees
the people crying and praying
Hoping and waiting
For a Godly disruption
For God to bring justice
This bloodshed is senseless
And I know at times I feel helpless
But I don't want to hear no more complaining
If your ass ain’t praying
But if your praying don’t lead you to doing
Then what the f**k are you doing?
I keep hearing folks say “Jesus, fix it”
But I believe in my heart that Jesus is waiting on us to fix sh*t
So please come with more than fiery talk
We need some solutions
Because you can’t keep sittin’ on your ass and talk about “we need a revolution.”
See, the world won’t get no better if we just let it be
The world won’t get no better, we gotta change it - yeah you and me.
(Note: The bolded lines at the end should be sung.)
J Frederika is a preacher, poet, and change agent fighting to positively impact her community. You can find her on Twitter @ijustbelieve1.