Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Black Lives Matter

The Black Lives Matter movement that has emerged as a result of police brutality against black and brown people is nothing new to many. The small world we live in, thanks to the internet and the media, has brought this reality to those who have lived oblivious to the situation until now.

Racism is real. My husband has had to endure it his whole life, but more so during his time in prison. I have never had the misfortune of being judged by the color of my skin. I am very 'pale' (as my seven year old likes to say). I have never been racially profiled or followed in a store because most strangers think I'm Italian or Greek, never Puerto Rican... that is, until they hear me speak. I am proud to correct them and furthermore to announce to the world that I am a Black Woman; my ancestors were African, Taino (native) and Spaniard (European). We are one people, and as such, I feel the pain that plagues us when we are discriminated against. Our sons and fathers are dying regardless of education, age, income, creed, sexual orientation, criminal record (or lack thereof) or address and this is tragic.

My husband has experienced numerous situations where the color of his skin gave others license to treat him like dirt. In prison, the racism is overt. The guards (the vast majority) refer to the black inmates as N....ers and assault them without consequence; they are in charge. Prison is the modern form of slavery and it is very alive and very legal. The thirteenth amendment has allowed for this to happen, but now civilians are also being targeted. No more hoods are being worn by those who condemn diversity.

It is 2017... something has to change.

The following poem was written by my husband:

Black Lives Matter
Black Lives Matter and it’s us that gotta fix it, 
but Blacks gotta act like Black Lives Matter 
in order for others to get it.
Regardless of how many generations removed. We will never forget. 
The seriousness behind the crack and sting of the whip our ancestors used to get, 
for not falling in step or let be lost the significance to all 
of strange fruit that don’t fall.
And the noose’s effect. 
Those horrible images of burned bodies and stretched necks.  
And how no respect was given to those whose complexion reflect 
the ending cycle of a beautiful sunset.
I’ll bet that if we all did step, like so many like to suggest.                    
In the direction that we all left. They’ll be running to pay that debt. 
That in reality can’t be priced or met. 
So let them keep sweeping it under the rug. 
While we keep healing, like 500 years off a drug, 
that was pumped into our veins without our permission 
and the damage is visiting our children.   
Death ain’t always coffins and poll bearers. 
It could be WE causing destruction to the reflection in the mirror. 
Black Lives Matter. And even if the next policeman don’t think so. 
Matter is, still a Black Soul that his bullet let go. 
Black Lives Matter and it’s us that gotta fix it, 
but Blacks gotta act like Black Lives Matter 
                    in order for others to get it.                 -K. A.

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