How can I mourn when everyone around me is laughing?
How can I mourn when I am the only black person and everyone else is white surrounding me?
How can they understand?
I wanted to cry, but the room I was in was laughing.
I wanted my tears to flow down my face for the mother who lost her black son
Due to injustice and violence from the authorities;
The ones they say should be trusted.
I wanted to express my feelings,
Describe the pain. I am thinking:
Why is there another black person killed by police brutality?
What angers me the most is the flags which hang
From the door poles,
The T-shirts I see worn by fellow white faces,
“I am not a racist.”
I am not a racist either,
I just despise ignorance
And distortion of the American flag. Corrupted
Stripes from the red, yellow, black and white
Turned into a colorless flag with a blue stripe
Symbolizing “Blue lives matter.”
Yes, blue lives matter.
All life matters.
Black lives matter.
Everyone’s lives matter.
But black lives are being killed
By the police,
By the police,
Just because of the color of their skin.
And yet I look at the flag –
Blue lives matter and the American flag –
Both of these flags are distorted because they hold the meaning
That black lives were never important.
So, I sit here in my truthful depressing thoughts,
Keeping all the pain inside of my little box.
I think, “Should I say something? Should I share my feelings?”
I don’t know.
I don’t want to pay the price of the being the black person
Who stopped the white people from laughing.
This article along with many others are included in the 2021 Commencement Issue of The Yellow Jacket. The full print layout version can be viewed here.