Poem by Jacques Fleury


 

Chain Letter to America: The One Thing You Can Do To End Racism

Honoring Black history for all who have died fighting for equality

          “The privileged majority thinks equality is discrimination.”

          -Anonymous White protester at Black Lives Matter rally

When you look at me, what do you see?
A black boy worthy of your pity? or
A Black Man replete with potential and possibilities?
I gather the former best suits your ideologies…
My usurped and chained African ancestors toiled this torrid place for four hundred years building
THE GREAT AMERICAN DEMOCRACY and CAPITALIST ECONOMY
on this great land of the “free”
Chained by the chains of slavery,
their darkest nights spent singing negro spirituals yearning for liberty;
Only Civil War could be expected
Between Northern ideals and Southern antiquity,
A respectable war for an unrespectable ideology.
Now hundreds of years later,
Descendants of Civil War soldiers
Are back in the streets fighting to matter; a disgraceful travesty
to the American promise of freedom and liberty!
The United States still “Divided” on racial unity.
Some say: “Make America great again!”
When was America ever great?
Was it great during the displacement and slaughter of indigenous American Indians?
Was it great during the centuries of enslavement of African Americans?
Was it great during the terror, torture and murder of Black Americans at the hands of the Ku Klux Klan?
Was it great during the Civil Rights Movement when Black protesters were horsed down, beaten and
          jailed
For having the audacity to fight for the
American promise of equality?
Is it great today when well fed past generational descendants of immigrants are denying under fed present and future generations of immigrants the American Dream?
Denying them of economic opportunity?
Is it great today when Blacks are still
Fighting to matter?
Still fighting to “overcome” barriers of White Power?!
Do me a favor…I don’t need you to
Validate my human nature;
I don’t need you to validate my existence;
I don’t need you to validate my intelligence;
I don’t need your intolerance;
But I do need you.
I need you to continue marching right alongside oppressed peoples of all colors, men, women and
          children.
I need you to stand by when White Lives Matter Neo-Nazis march into town with signs screaming
“BLACK LIVES SPLATTER!”
I need you to stomp on ignorance;
I need you to stomp on prejudice;
I need you to stomp on hatred;
I need you to stomp on racism;
I need you to stomp on your fears of
Equality for all of humanity;
I need you to say TO ME publicly what you’re saying ABOUT ME privately;
and then And ONLY then will we all be set FREE!
In the documentary “I Am Not Your Negro”
James Baldwin spoke of this American problem when he boldly stated:
“I am not a nigger! I am a man. If you NEED me to be a nigger than YOU have to find out the reason why…and the future of America depends on THAT!”

 

Jacques Fleury is the author of Sparks in the Dark: A Lighter Shade of Blue, A Poetic Memoir and It’s Always Sunrise Somewhere and Other Stories.

 

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