I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Why must I constantly defend my right to life,
in a nation that allegedly values it?
You say that WE are racist,
not understanding that an oppressed individual never can be.
You look at us with contempt and agitation.
Is our Blackness bothering you?
I am not sorry that the skin I’m in rubs you the wrong way.
It is not our fault that you view us as creatures as opposed to human beings.
Instead of turning a blind eye to our issues,
why don’t you try to become familiar with them?
Why don’t you ask yourself what has happened
to make us the way we are?
Why don’t you ask yourself
what has happened to make us do the things we do?
You’re angered that we chant “BLACK LIVES MATTER”
not realizing why we have to resort to this in the first place.
And why should we have to deliberately yell something
that you should already know?
You dispute the facts that we render about our history
because you cannot fathom the light that it sheds on yours.
I can imagine that stone cold pills intentionally left out of American history books
could be hard to swallow.
It is apparent that a Black life holds no significance here,
unless you’re a LeBron James or a Beyonce.
But if you take away their fame,
if you take away their fortune,
he’d be just like my brothers, and she’d be just like me.
We are moving targets just trying to make it through the day,
having to remind one another “You can’t do what they do”
informing the little ones of what racism is,
tearfully reassuring them that it will be okay.
I am overwhelmed with frustration and grief,
because on a regular basis,
you find ways to justify the slaying of Black women and children,
boys and girls.
Sitting at home.
An unfavorable tone.
I am not asking you to defend our looting and radical retaliation,
but I am asking you to try to understand it.
Can you imagine not being wanted
in the same place you call home?
We have suppressed decades of grief and outrage,
and now it is bubbling over our pot of patience.
It will not stop.
We are pro-Black.
And in no way, shape or form does that mean anti-White.
The fact that you believe that,
is one of many reasons
why you don’t understand
that you are roses
and we are thorns.
Poet: Stefanie Parrott