Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Not Yet


I swore I wouldn't fall 
for the banana in the tailpipe
this time, but I did
cause he was just a kid -
stalked and shot like he was some wild jungle panther,
and what could be the answer to that
but GUILTY?

Sometimes, race cards are what you're dealt.

But, we're too politically correct these days,
afraid to call a spade a spade
(or a cracker a cracker).
No, we stand our (willfully blind) ground
and seat an all-white jury
that sees shady character under every hoodie
and criminal potential in an individual
just out, about, and walking black

even if he's the victim.

So, go ahead and take back your Skittles and signs (of the same old same old times).
We ain't all Trayvon Martin, yet.  Not yet.

If we were, these assholes wouldn't always get away.

Process Note:  I don't usually do these type of notes, but I thought that I'd go ahead and belabor the obvious; the wordplay here is deliberately offensive. My point is that in this country, we like to point to our moral outrage when someone like Paula Dean admits to using the n-word back when dinosaurs roamed the earth as evidence that we are a post-racial society.  Meanwhile, our racially biased criminal justice system incarcerates (and subsequently disenfranchises) blacks at nearly six times the rate of whites.  But, that's not sexy enough for news, is it?

Anyway, this is for Izy' s movie line prompt at Real Toads.  The first lines of my poem reference Beverly Hill's Cop (" . . . and we're not gonna fall for a banana in the tailpipe.").  The last line references the statement George Zimmerman made to a 911 dispatcher before shooting and killing Trayvon Martin.

23 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Hooray for YOU!! Amen!

Sam Edge said...

Powerful - I think Amen sums it up - from north of the border.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Such excellent commentary, MZ. Coming from a racially divisive country, I fully understand the sense of unfairness and discrimination you express. Unfortunately, we are living in increasingly violent times and stereotyping seems the fool's way of understanding the situation.

Brian Miller said...

strong piece mz...
i just hope the pissed off people dont forget in a week and then we're on to the next one

Kay L. Davies said...

Wonderful, MZ. We can't reiterate this terrible injustice too often. It is a fact, and there are similar facts here in Canada, where they're downplayed for the same reasons, and for another reason: our reputation as a peaceful country. Fortunately, people can't carry handguns, concealed or otherwise, or else we'd probably be known for the same things.
I have a niece who loves to wear hoodies. She must have dozens of them, I'm sure. She is also a sweet, loving, stay-at-home mom. But she has black skin. I cringe whenever she goes into the US, which is a short drive or a medium-long walk from her house, and I cringe when she walks her dog near her own house after dark.
K

Peggy said...

I like this. The Zimmerman verdict has made me so angry--what in the H--- is wrong with Florida law that this can happen? A kid is dead!!!!

Buddah Moskowitz said...

MZ - I haven't been able to write about this yet, as I fear I would be too heavy handed. Your anger is righteous, your technique, deft. Loved the movie reference too.

Growing up Mexican in 1970's Orange County, California, I loved Eddie Murphy's scene in the country bar in "48 Hrs" - it spoke to me.

http://youtu.be/aON8jU8jkKM

Thanks, el Mosk

Susie Clevenger said...

Great write! Racism unfortunately is still alive and well in this country.

Fireblossom said...

But we need more guns, right? Oh, I forgot...government control of guns is not okay, but government control of vaginas is. What a stone loony country.

Isadora Gruye said...

I caught the beverly hills cop reference right away, but for that reason, I heard the voice of Judge Reinhold reading your poem... we all have feels over this trial, and I understand the need to get it out into the world. Viva la

Laurie Kolp said...

You have powerfully expressed how so many of us feel.

Manicddaily said...

Thanks. Agree with Shay. Appreciate your poem and note in this crazy sad world. It's Karin if Manicddaily.

Sioux said...

Mama Zen--You spoke for many of us who are still aghast and speechless.

This was NOT a good day in our country's history...

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Dmn, Mama, I couldn't even write to this subject because the expletives would get Lex kicked off his podium. I'm rarely at a loss for words, but I was so stunned at this willful demonization of a scared kid (who, of course, should know better than to, I don't know, WALK in a hoodie while being BLACK).

Both my sisters are big on Stand Your Ground. They also own guns and have them oiled and ready in theirlittle purses in case someone from Pakistan approaches them for directions... George Zimmerman is a guy who gives "piece of shit" a bad name. Better stop now before I implode. Thanks for letting me rant here, where it's safe... You showed injustice with all its hokey "P.C." tags, and you gave it a slap upside the head. Good for you. Amy

kaykuala said...

It takes great courage to state facts and many are just not able to do so! Brilliant commentary MZ!

Hank

Lorraine said...

your writing is powerful MZ as always but in 54 years of living I know that all races,bear none have prejudices and racism and disrespect...You just can't judge, it's everywhere everyday in every country and everyone accepts it according to what they were told to believe. Love one another, Jesus said and he was crucified...

Susan said...

WOOOO! Encapsulating anger so it makes the same impression, ingestion and indigestion as the bullet! Gosh, you're good!

Susan said...

On my blog, Susan Continued, I linked to this poem: http://susan60.blogspot.com/2013/07/guilty-not.html

Lolamouse said...

Bravo! Well done.

Ella said...

I agree Bravo MZ!
It is shocking the way this all played out and so sad!

Marian said...

hey, excellent commentary and i never woulda guessed that movie quote, either.

LaTonya Baldwin said...

Mama, I missed this otherwise I would have commented before. I drafting a list like Susan did and will link back here on Saturday. Do visit Blogs Over Easy.

Thank you. That's all I can say.

LaTonya Baldwin said...

See today' Blog Over Easy
http://blackandgraylifemusings.blogspot.com/2013/07/poets-we-stand-our-ground.html