There are three roles in this piece: Mohammed, Bear, & Rachel. PJ Rainbow Poet will play the role of Mohammed & Rachel. Someone once told me that the antidote to oppression, depression, compression, repression, & suppression was EXPRESSION…so let the healing begin!
I’m tired of the stares & denials
Being a Black man in my own country
After building up the economy
Of the U.S. by our slave-labor
With little or no access to the wealth
And resources of this teeming nation
We built up the South, and the DC
Capital Building, as well,
But today I can’t get no job
I feel like I’m goin’ to hell
I think of our Black folk’s souls
Standing a far distance back
While Whites lynched another Black
In the atmosphere of celebration
Where little Black children were called
“Pick-a-ninnies,” a code word for the
Festivities of picking out families
Framing it in the families having a picnic with
African Americans giving the ghost by a noose. ,
Where did our status of human dignity
Go, to what hiding place did it run,
Up the Underground Railroad, to Boston
Where Frederick Douglas once escaped
Debating and writing polemics
In the Abolition War, pro against con?
The White Supremacist clon has done
Their con through rules & regulations
Just another phrase for bias & discrimination
Now, hold on just a minute
Ahmed…I mean Mohammed
I say this was a modicum of dread
My ancestors crossed the seas
Came from the Continent of Trees
To the Continent of Cotton, it was
Free for the taking
My Scotch-Irish people pulled
Themselves up by their bootstraps
Said ‘we can do it on our own!’
If only we can get those slaves on loan
Then soon they’ll be ours, living in our home
We were rugged individualists,
Free in this new, raw-boned land
We bought your ancestors fair & square
To dig our dirt, plant our seeds, making
Our plantations wealthy on a dare
So, Mohammed, what’s up with your words?
You’re bitterness in anger, I see, is flying up
In the sky just like the freewheelin’ gulls & birds
Into a freedom of the Third Mill, most of you gotta
Place to stay, a job, and equal opportunity
In the courts of law, you got immunity,
Just like us Whites!
If you do what’s right
It’ll be clean outta sight,
We promise to be your allies, day & night
Now, hold on brother from another mother,
Stop being an ass, my euro-friend, you freakin’ jerk,
You got nothing on me, and that’s real clear
I’m the “mixed up one,” they call me Pilipino,
Latina, Wetback, or Oreo, but if we were
Born here–aren’t we all Americans? The verbal
Separation rides the horse, we get the spur!
Do you know what it’s like, Mr. Bear?
Trying to ‘simulate into whiteness, but never be
Accepted by your ethnic in-laws & out-laws?
I guess I’m a half-breed, and a woman, too,
That puts me at the bottom of the Oppression Ladder,
And makes me eat, out of emotional
Necessity, since I have no universal ethnicity
Speaking of women, oh, let me tell you a thing
Or three, let me speak my truth to be free.
Women are paid less in the market place;
Most women still don’t have no place
To call their own in larger society
Because the males got the power & leadership
And few of us got a badge that reads, “I ride
The person ship.”
And, you, Mohammed, you still collude with the
General Male System, keeping your own women down
On the ground, like downtown, seeking a place to lie
our head, on the lowdown, you want us to play & pay!
After hearing you two dudes talk, I’m gonna balk,
At saying I’m the same as you, because I’m not.
You have told me the truth, the truth with
Skin on, the real deal, the uncut accuracy of
Ethno-fact; you’re my mirror I hold up
And look back to what my ancestors did to
You and your indigenous cousins in family
I’ll never again, stand against you, just to be
Seen the same as my Euro-family,
I’ll speak the truth of what I heard today.
Now I know there’s a subtle, devious aversion
By my Anglo friends who unconsciously
Create the diversion by ignorance
And within themselves denied avoidance
I came here today, an angry Black dude with plenty
Of pissed off attitude, but what you’ve told me,
Bear, is your vulnerability & courage,
To listen to truth, maybe save some of our youth.
Sounds like today you got it, and I’ll be your
Ally, supporting your lonely heart—so go tell
It on the mountain to those who look like you
When I met you today, I thought it would be
Another stupid conversation with Mad Black
And White Male Sad Sack, but what I see,
I’m happy to be the third leg of the stool
In our common, diverse trinity
What I want to leave you with is my
Loyalty to diversity, for all people are
Created free—black, red, yellow, brown
White & queer, is that clear?
If we don’t struggle for justice for all the
Above, then how can we claim that we really
Got love indivisibly?!
UNISON: ALL PEOPLE STRUGGLE TO BE FREE!
LET’S DO IT TOGETHER!