There Is Only One Racism

April 14-15, 2021

The word, “racism,” wasn’t created until
the dawn of the 20th century.

The act of “racism” has been continuous
Since 1619.

“Modern racism” does not exist—
There is only one racism.

The concept remains the same.

Only the weapons have changed,
And even those, not so much.

17th to 19th centuries:

Ship cargo holds
Whips
Chains

Arson
Beatings
Dragging
Fists
Ropes
Rape
Sticks

19th to 21st centuries:

Whips
Chains

Arson
Automobiles
Beatings
Dragging
Firebombs
Fire hoses
Fists
Guns
Ropes
Rape
Spitting
Sticks

We didn’t ask to come here.

You filled the bowels
of your huge wooden ships
with our black bodies
laid supine, row upon row,
like slaughtered meat.

You beat out of our minds
our homes,
our families,
our tongues,
our lives

just so you could have

What?

Beasts of burden

To do your dirty work

To satisfy your lust

To signify your might

To justify your power.

And, for that, we should be

What?

Compliant?

Grateful?

Invisible?
Obedient?
Obsequious?

None of this was enough.

Is this blind hatred inferiority masquerading as superiority?

How do we break this Gordian knot?

About this poem:  This poem is a work in progress. It will be part of a book (in progress), with the working title, Deconstructing Race. With all the recent and not-so-recent talk about the value of Black lives in America, my soul is heavy with anger, frustration, and righteous anger. Words are all I have to get through these times…. And it will take time to complete this work.


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