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Black Lives Still Matter during a pandemic

Updated: Jun 3

Livid. Disgusted. Tired. Thinking of the list of things that, as an African American, can get me murdered by police: jogging in my own neighborhood, sleeping in my own bed, bird-watching in the park, sitting in my own car on the street. Even with camera's rolling, a black life can be extinguished in the blink of an eye...or 8 minutes and 46 seconds. And you can be arrested, apparently, for reporting while black as Oscar Jimenez discovered this morning. Hearing the people in charge of the investigation of George Floyd's murder say things like, "We have nothing to report..." or "We have to determine whether or not what the officer did was criminal..." AND not putting those officers under arrest gives me pause. THESE ARE THE PEOPLE IN CHARGE OF THE INVESTIGATION. How/where/when does a black person get justice in America? LeBron James' "Do you understand now?" tweet is aimed at those white folks who just don't seem to get it. The good white folk, the liberal white folk. And why should they? They don't know what it feels like to be Black in America. The haiku's I wrote this morning. "When the Lines are Drawn" is from a poem that I wrote the day after Charlottesville. Let me give you a glimpse of how it feels.


Ahmed, Breonna, George (10:49am)

Ahmed Arbery

Breonna Taylor, George Floyd-

No justice, no peace!


Sick and Tired Stew (10:54am)

The pot's on the stove

Blue lives snuffing out Black lives-

The boiling point - reached!


When the Lines are Drawn (aka Fuck You)

Fuck you

All of you

What?

You thought I would invoke Michelle and “Go high”, right?

Not this fucking time

I cannot take the high road

It is blocked with signs that read

“Caution”

“Hazard Ahead”

“Road Closed”

“Dead End”


I am always the one expected to be

Patient

Understanding

Benevolent

I am always asked to be your

Teacher

Comforter

Absolver

Of all your white guilt and sins

All reek of entitlement

or can’t you see that

because you can’t see beyond your own bubble

Poor

Little

White

Liberal


Oh, you thought I was talking about them

The others

The Keep America White Agains

With their monster trucks

Trump caps

Flak jackets

And red necks

When the lines are drawn

Aren’t you all the same

Privileged

Entitled

White

You, too, will kick and scream to keep what you have

You think you won’t

But you will


You hear of all the

Hate-mongering

Profiling

Police murders of black bodies

And you are

Shocked

Appalled

And although you won’t say it in mixed company

Doubtful

of the innocence of the

Eric Garner's

Mike Brown's

Rekia Boyd's

Trayvon’s

Laquan’s

Tamir’s

Sandra’s

And

Philando’s

“Let’s wait until all the evidence is in”

“We don’t know what REALLY happened”

“They must have done SOMETHING”

“Policing is a difficult job”


When the lines are drawn


Slavery

Black Codes

Jim Crow

Segregation

War on Drugs

Mass Incarceration

Different day

Same shit


When marchers in Charlottesville yell out

“Ape!”

“Monkey!”

And drive cars at full speed into crowds of people

You can’t believe it

Pearls are clutched

But their hatred

and your disbelief

make my fucking blood boil


When the lines are drawn


You are armed with

Clubs

Knives

Shields

or worse –

Apathy and Fatigue

“I’m just so tired of talking about race!”

I’m tired of your

Bigotry

Bias

Innate obliviousness

Having to prove my humanity to you


When the lines are drawn

You have the power of

Laws and Legislation on your side

What do I have

Prayer

Forgiveness

Jesus


When the lines are drawn

I feel

Fury

Vengeance

Wrath

This shit is Biblical

I have no more

Kumbaya’s to sing

We shall overcomes

Cheeks left to turn

When the lines are drawn

I will remember the mistakes of the past

When we thought that

Love

Would conquer

Hate

Next time

There will be blood

I won’t be the one to bleed

An eye for an eye makes us all blind

I’m boning up on my Braille


When the lines are drawn

There is no healing without first being heard


Ahmed, Breonna, George and Sick and Tired Stew Copyright O. Dawson 2020

When the Lines are Drawn Copyright O. Dawson 2018

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©2017 BY OLIVIA D. DAWSON