This poem is not meant to offend nor condemn but instead to ease the torment lying on my heart and to shed light upon the indelible impact of collective racial trauma for people of color who continue to repeatedly and painfully witness the tragic murders of unarmed black men and women
A poem for George Floyd while the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor remain woefully fresh on my mind
Hot, searing tears sting my cheeks
My fragile heart breaks again
Unbearable pain literally grips my chest
Closing around my throat, choking my words
My body trembles, my brain confused as my head spins
Eyes reddened by grief
Grief that painfully shifts into horror
Horror that transforms into disbelief
And disbelief that mutates into a fiery rage that threatens to overtake me
Will it consume me?
I CAN’T – my heart screams
Another black man murdered – a son, or maybe an uncle, brother, or father
His life so callously extinguished
Videos circulate, capturing his senseless murder
Akin to a modern-day lynching
But are we not tired of the show?
Say his name – George Floyd
It feels like an utter disregard for this black man’s hopes and his dreams
No concern for his breath crushed under the weight of another man’s knee
His blackness met with fear and violence rather than compassion and kindness
I ponder so many questions like:
Why does his blackness frighten you?
Why do you so easily dismiss the sanctity of his life?
Perhaps it’s because he doesn’t look like someone you know or someone you love or does it run deeper …
Is it because you see a monster instead of a man?
Through what distorted lens do you view the black man?
When will you change your biased-filled perspective?
When will you stop forcing him to become that which he was never designed to be for he should have never been enslaved nor should he continue to be narrowly defined by racist ideology?
God made him beautiful, created in His own divine image
Just like you, God made him fearfully and wonderfully
Why does his black life not matter?
No, not more than a white man’s life but seen as equally important, a life to be cherished, celebrated, and protected
Has it ever?
Miss me with that “well, he should have did as he was told”
Please stop disavowing my heartache and my pain
I am hurting and your silence resonates so loudly that my ears bleed as my faith in humanity struggles to persist
We need collective healing, but the broken, the oppressed can’t be the cure
It’s time to heal, America
And love is the answer
Let love radically change our views, our policies, our practices, our systems, and our laws
I will leave you with the timely words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:
No, violence is not the way. Hate is not the way. Bitterness is not the way. We must stand up with love in our hearts, with a lack of bitterness and yet a determination to protest courageously for justice and freedom in this land.