Monday, April 13, 2015

The Vanity of the Smug

You would not think a man would be shot
For a simple broken taillight.
You would not think a police officer would
shoot a man in the back in cold-blooded murder.
I did not know that broken taillights and running away in fear
were crimes punishable by death
and carried out by one man
as judge, jury and executioner, but
apparently in some parts of this country this is so,
especially if the officer is white
and the person who was murdered commits the crime
of being poor and black.

And the Smug Man Stands
over the dead man with his hands on his hips
and a shield on his breast,
and lies once again.

But this time,
This Time
His shield does not protect!
His shield does not keep him from the consequences of his lie,
because of an ordinary man
and his video camera
Which records the truth
and reveals the lie.

And a nation rises up and says, NO MORE!
And the people rise up and scream, NO MORE!

I do not want to see what I see.
I do not want to believe what I see.
I want to turn away.
I do not want to watch that man being gunned down.
I want to turn the channel and see something nice.
But therein lies the problem.
We need to LOOK!
WE need to see!
We need to see IT!

~Kathie Adams Brown (April 10, 2015)

NaPoWriMo 2015 / 30  Poems in 30 Days

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