The cops act like “protestors”
means “professional testers”
of police dogs and weapons:
they take pepper spray to the face
as they’re unjustly arrested
for crying to the government for constitutional protection,
but face institutional rejection
for their unsuitable complexion,
but like the raven, they fly on,
sending forth a freedom song,
crying Nevermore over Baltimore,
bandaging their scars but keeping score.
Assata’s cantata, her unjoyous chorus,
said before you get free,
realize your own slavery:
- Read amendment thirteen.
The thirteenth amendment
outlawed slaves everywhere but prison,
but prison is more than four walls,
it’s this country we live in,
the lot that we’re given,
the scraps from the table, Kunta Kinte,
go dig in!
We have a black president,
that doesn’t mean all is forgiven.
A post racial society
says, strip your identity and give in.
People say, MLK didn’t die
so us blacks could riot in the streets—
no, he was assassinated
to keep us from leaping to our feet
and discovering what justice really means.
So give me rubber bullets,
no, shoot me with the real thing,
because America is waking up,
so let freedom ring.
(Title image via).