The Show Me State

(Today’s Haiku Journal on Ferguson)

9. Do white people know/
The feelings Black people have/
When cops just kill us?/

10. Don’t live in ghettos/
Suburban Strip-Mall no-wheres/
Imprisoned by cars/

11. Don’t live in projects/
Lego-stacked suspensions of/
Human civil rights/

12. In our middle class/
Pretentions of normalcy/
Black lives lack value/

13. Our white friends can’t know/
Insecurity we feel/
When Blacks are gunned down/

14. Projects or exurbs/
“They are poor in those ghettoes/
So diff’rent than ‘us'”/

15. But to the dull tool/
Of racist policing we’re/
Just some more niggers/

16. Reduce privilege/
And pay the police much more/
We might get justice/

17. Uneducated/
Underpaid police receive/
Unjust Power’s Pay/

18. We need to attract/
Better people to police/
Not red-necked bullies/

19. The black cops we have/
Absorbed the racist power/
Of job they strap on/

20. But many Blacks fear/
Blacks men inordinately/
Just like the police/

21. White supremacy/
Lies all over our culture:/
Suffocating snow/

22. We cannot see Blacks/
As just individuals/
In racist matrix/

23. “Devil’s food cake” is/
The national confection/
Of America/

24. It’s “our” racism/
Contrary statements of race/
Are simple “white lies”/

26. Race is a prison/
We reconstruct for ourselves/
We need more jailbreaks/

27. Lamenting order/
Over human righteousness/
Suggests racism/

28. Tranquility lacks/
The drama of infringement/

25. “Faith has to [function]/
[For us] 24 hour [days],/
Or we [will] perish.”/
#Haiku 16


3 responses to “The Show Me State

  1. So why can’t I “know?” That’s like saying you will never understand what it feels like to be white. There will never be unity if you choose to isolate yourself in your despair and hopelessness. Trust others’ feelings of shared despair and hopelessness. We need to figure out together where we have to go from here. This place without light.

  2. True ʇɐɥʇ frank:
    Perhaps I overstated it,
    But I don’t seem to be able
    To understand my daughters’
    Fear and discomfort as women
    Nor the clumsiness of straights’
    Paternalistic attitude towards
    Gays, Lesbians, transgendered
    Some experiences are tough
    And difficult to understand
    Or experience
    Without skin
    (I admit your point is valid, but
    I’m not sure we are always able
    To empathize as well as we should)

  3. You know I love you more than my luggage Prof G. It is hard to comprehend that today, a policeman can shoot an unarmed teen and not be put on trial. Tuesday morning I woke up after nightmares and did not know what I was going to teach my kids that day. The Attenborough film Gandhi has a scene when the military (almost all Indian except the British commanders) aim their bayonets on what seems a thousand unarmed men, woman and children and just start firing. I stop the film and ask what just happened. Can this happen today? and let the discussion begin. Homework: Compare and contrast the Indian massacre with today’s killings of unarmed black teens. The fifth graders totally got it. PS: I just heard our school won the UN Peace Award. Check out my clip:

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