Wednesday, 26 November 2014

All My Trials

So much discussion about the non-indictment of Michael Brown's killer. It seems every cop is granted double 'O' status when they leave the academy. Fourteen children have been killed by cops since that fateful day in August. Lots of analysis; lots of punditry. My favorite platitude this week? "We live in a nation of laws" A lot of well meaning people have been trying to answer the question "Why isn't Darren Wilson being charged with ... something?" Here's my attempt at an answer.

Look around 
Past row houses in Ferguson Missouri
Down the long antebellum rows of cotton
Beyond the police line; the race line
The scarred line 
Jagged across Old Glory’s tattered furls
Look how it connects the money, the congressmen, the cops

And smell it … can you smell it?
The smoke, the tear gas, the rage
Ferguson is burning
Across the years, Atlanta is burning 
Resentment still settling
Like soot on sons of the south

Deep down in your soul
Your granddads Klan is tryin’ to be heard
“Lose your job?  … The colored man took it”
“High taxes?  … Shiftless welfare bums”
 “Angry? Afraid? … White privilege my ass!”

Do you feel it?
Drumbeats pulsing in your brain
Feel it
A familiar tune
Faintly rising to the pounding beat
Hum it with me … Sing it with me
This is our song
“Oh, I wish I was in the land of cotton …”

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