Evil, A Poetic Rant

 Evil

Looks like what drives me crazy

Don’t have no effect on you—

But I’m gonna keep on at it

Till it drives you crazy too

—Langston Hughes 

Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of the night, I hear George Floyd cry out for his mother. His last words, an eerie longing for his beginnings in the moments before his end, do not constitute a nightmare for those who wake up from their sleep and find themselves faced with this truth as an anti-black reality. 

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in my car awaiting my dinner when I became startled by sounds behind my vehicle. The initial shock erased the words conveyed amidst the sounds of struggle from my memory, but it has not seized the images burned into my mind. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw a face pushed into the cold, wet concrete and a police officer placing the accosted’s hands in handcuffs. The policeman’s knee in the civilians back conveyed, and I paraphrase Malcolm X here, what the white world would call a chip on my shoulder. The moments that followed confirmed my suspicions; the civilian was a young black man who would sit perched on a stop signpost in the rain as multiple police cars surrounded him. 

Unable to hear the few and far between words exchanged, I recorded the entire scenario while preparing myself for the fatal consequence that often corresponds to domestic terrorism. I stood under my umbrella with the white supremacist hand of hegemony wrapped around my neck, while the predominately white backdrop to this setting acted as if nothing was taking place. They did not acknowledge the police cars or do as much as a bat an eyelash at the black man soaked in the rain. 

Now, I sit here figuratively amidst the bloodshed in the fatal shooting of Walter Wallace Junior. Despite not being present, the hot, dark Negro blood, as Dubois called it, remains on our collective hands, minds, and souls. 

As I finalize my voting plans, I think to myself: which presidential candidate ameliorates this issue? 

My feelings upon watching a white man press a black man’s face into the concrete mirrors my feelings during this election. Though those paid to pander equate voting to one’s voice, the electoral ambiance conveys a voicelessness equal to those of my community forced to encounter their collective abjection with no legal solution. This voicelessness is perhaps most prevalent in the element of choice. Specifically, the election enables the so-called “free African” the choice of how they wish to lose.

Joe Biden says that we need more police and Donald Trump advocates for law and order. Collaboratively, they elucidate a shared sentiment veiled by word choice. The police are synonymous to any and every hate group. They are a collage of bad apples whose fetid smell encapsulates the scent of white supremacy. It is, however, not just a scent. It’s an image so gory you want to close your eyes. It is a sound too, callous language followed by a chorus of gunshots. Then it’s a feeling, the feeling of a thousand hands on your skin, the feeling of a wound that won’t heal because the trauma remains continuous. 

Nevertheless, the tree, planted by a single seed of supremacy sprouts apples that poison a population with lies of justice. 

The voice of the black woman who raised them, their parents, or their children, the voice of the black men they grew up wanting to be obscured in the sounds of bullets. Suddenly, they emerge from that which can never be black to he or she who decides whether a black person lives or dies…or so they think. 

If the government were not anti-black, cops would not have guns; rather, they’d have a skill set. The unspoken intention would be to assist not annihilate. See, they don’t sign up to save, they sign up to “police,” to overwrite their sub-mediocrity with the pseudo authority to kill. These are the same people who will go to church and pray to a God they enact while in the uniform—hollow souls filled with the emptiness of that which must destroy, belittle, and humiliate the black collective for sustenance. 

They may not technically be vampires, but it is the blood of black folks that feed their hegemonic hunger. 

Yet, a body shot with holes is not enough. The black body MUST be a portrait of white protection. The bloodied black body symbolizes greatness in a white settler space. Dead black people make America great again and again with each corpse staining this sinful land red, white, and blue.

Then, they say we deserve it. Though robbed of our tree, somehow we are America’s rotten fruit. 

We did not have to be there to witness Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Mike Brown, John Crawford III, Breonna Taylor, or George Floyd’s murders. Their final breaths echo in the wind that we can’t see but we know is there, just like we know the real rioters are in uniform and the real looters hold public office. 

If we are being honest, those of the majority should have inherited the sins of their past. Rather than trust funds or fortunes, they should have been born into continuous life sentences for rape, robbery, and murder—charges easily substantiated by the body parts passed down as heirlooms.

Our freedom lies beyond them, yet theirs cannot exist with us. Perhaps that’s what evil is, the socially engineered ambiance to which one side must be kicked, beaten, or held down so that the other can remain in a state of systemic ascension. Where one side must watch their brothers and sisters transition from humans to hashtags, from pedestrian to face down on the concrete while the world remains fixated on which white man will occupy the white house next.

 Evil, yes, that’s what it is, but I guess in some modes of understanding, the “it” referenced here is simply American.

3 thoughts on “Evil, A Poetic Rant

  1. This was beautifully written, there were so many parts that had my heart in my stomach. This part hit me hard: “Where one side must watch their brothers and sisters transition from humans to hashtags…” Ugh, I wish this was a nightmare that we could wake ourselves from. Reading your work reminds me that we are all feeling this collectively, reminds me that I’m not alone. Thank you.

  2. I think George Junius Stinney Jr needs to be added to this list. (October 21, 1929 – June 16, 1944), was a 14 year old African-American who was convicted, in a proceeding later vacated as an unfair trial, of apparently murdering two white girls, Betty June Binnicker and Mary Emma Thames, ages 7 and 11, in his hometown of Alcolu, South Carolina. He was executed by electric chair in June 1944. Stinney is the youngest American to be sentenced to death and executed since Hannah Ocuish in 1786. Hannah Ocuish was Native American. Her case was another case much like George’s.

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