Lifestyle April 08, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Poem: Colorblind Contradictions

Codey Young April 08, 2015 at 12:58 pm

April 08, 2015 at 12:58 pm | Lifestyle

Am I Next

Have you ever

had to defend your existence

to your White friends and family

who call you “militant,”

thinking it’s only Black folks

you can see?

Colorblinded cheerleaders

shouting

see people as humans,

never as skin tone…

I mean Barack Obama made it

besides slavery’s been gone

Fear flashes in their eyes

as my voice begins to rise,

saying

where I stand today is a long way

from the fairytale innocence of my youth

believing the United States

must be synonymous

with freedom, democracy, truth

you see,

slavery today we know

by another name

prisons have become industries,

producing Black and Brown bodies

enchained

I spent fourteen years

in Catholics schools

hearing about the glory of heaven

when God’s love and goodness will prevail

but now I question the value

to suffer, suffer for a world

with so many trapped on earth

inside this living hell

My education took me beyond

the mental confines of textbooks

bound with lies,

causing my innocent mind

to contemplate the state

of other folks’ demise

like…

How come my friends

in the public schools

got 30-year-old textbooks

and I’m the only one

from my block today

who made it out of the town

while they’re still

pregnant

in jail

or jobless

yet everyone from the Catholic school

was college-bound?

Why do White folks tell me

I don’t act Black

if it ain’t about race

then call me their best friend

but tell n*gger jokes to my face?

What’s the basis of all this?

if Abe Lincoln apparently set us free?

How can they call themselves “Christians”

yet claim their god

could never look like me

blasting hip-hop

in brand-new cars

throwing private parties in mansions

praying for God to bless the poor

while adopting conservative republican stances

I’m so confused

by all these contradictions

can’t someone please make it clear

why in 2015

I still have to live my life in fear

not knowing whether each time

I leave the house

might be my last

because trigger-happy cops

call me “suspicious”

then blast

The media portrays us as:

criminals

uneducated thugs

burdens to society

that only make babies

and sell drugs

If Barack Obama made it

why are my sisters and brothers burning

in the flames

of a nightmarish American Dream

that just sounds deranged?

Compared to the inequality I see

every single day,

this world leaves us so broken

Is it any wonder

people kneel down to pray?

So, my family,

if you truly want to love me

I have just two conditions:

First

recognize all the diversity

within human existence

simultaneously

we’re all constructed

from the very same elements…

So what? You ask

and question my relevance

Second

accept that our collective humanities all intertwine

so my freedom’s dependent on yours

yours dependent on mine

That means as long as teary-eyed Mothers

ride along with Black babies

in hearses

I’ll continue to cry out for justice

in all of my verses.

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