William LohierJanuary 18, 2017

Facebook posts be up on my wall. Talking bout how so many brothas been taking the fall, all we gotta do is unite cuz ain’t nothing can put us down. We calling on people from far and wide to join us November Second to March in the memory of Tiara Thomas. Whose crown wasn’t enough to save her as bullets desecrated her body.

I shut my laptop.

In my mind I compose the rhymes that I know will bring tears to the eyes of the people who don’t have time to recognize the tragedy that’s befallen.

“Once again another injustice has been done to the black community . . . ”

No no no

“Time and time again we’ve seen the outright discrimination and injustice done to people — ”

Not sad enough

“It is a mystery to me how people keep dying and yet there is no change taking place. Once again I — ”

My mom calls me to dinner.

We eat pasta, we laugh.

I tell my family about all the Facebook posts I’ve seen

I tell my family how angry I am at what’s been deemed a tragedy

I tell my family how my Facebook post will bring tears to so many eyes.

I want them to be proud of me

My dad looks at me and says

“Well at least you’re trying.”

I realized that night how the mystery of the universe isn’t how people are dying.

It’s how lookin ass brothas and they lookin ass daughters been doing nothing.

It’s crazy

How bullet after

bullet after

bullet has found its way through doors and car doors at poor and poorer

It’s a lottery

For who gonna be the next to die

F.E.M.A. drowning out their cries, as

brothas shoot brothas in the streets.

Cops shoot brothas in the streets.

Schoolhouse to jailhouse our babies to prison.

The officer involved in the fatal shooting of “fill in the black” has not been indicted.

Who woulda known the safety net had so many holes in it.

And yet still I sit on my couch and Facebook post my way to sorry for how people been brought up

For how cops been brought up

For how America been brought up with her fat behind sitting on throats choking like nooses to success.

I will kung foo Twitter my way to freedom.

I will Snapchat filter my people to equality.

I will slam poetry my way into every barrel of every gun of every police officer in the United States.

I will #BlackLivesMatter my fist held higher than the birds in the trees,

Higher than Whitney Houston in her bathtub drowning out her pain.

Cuz people dying

And people been dying

This vicious cycle no one been trying to break

Of wake up 2:00 a.m. Tweet your fears away cuz hey, that’s easier than gettin’ up and doing shit.

Cuz that’s easier than gettin’ up and feeling shit

That’s why these brothas getting paid just to take a hit

Medical marijuana, PTSD these people do anything to get lit

And I wanted to write a poem about space exploration, or high-fives, or smiles.

But then my mother turned the radio on.

And it’s the same story they been playing night after night, day after day.

And I wonder why it never ends.

Depends on your point of view.

It’s because the people speaking are not the ones who need to be spoken for.

It’s because those with a voice can only voice what’s right for them.

It’s because we not the ones getting shot

It’s because we not the ones doing the shooting.

It’s because we not going to jail

It’s because we in jail

It’s because we tired

It’s because they have the guns

It’s because they took away our guns.

So how we supposed to fight back, when our backs are under their knees, guns drawn in their imaginations?

The first point of the ten point program says:

We Want Freedom. We Want Power To Determine
The Destiny Of Our Black Community.

But how we supposed be free when we chained to the factory floor making hashtags out of black boys’ names?

You wonder why our parents think our generation is lazy?

It’s because sometimes, when something you worked your whole life to build crumbles to the ground like a burning house, dreams caught up inside, screaming before smoke slicks down their throat like Hennessy, you get bitter.

You get done with all this nonsense.

You get to thinking how America hates you and America has always hated you.

You get to thinking how even if you’ve been one of them your whole life, that was only your point of view.

You get to thinking how Yes Ma’am-ing your way out to get your education so you could make a change in the world only leads to pain when your mama is ashamed that you forgot where you came from. Forgot the language that you had spoken for so long but never remembered. That tendriled out of your mouth as a baby and blossomed off your tongue until you amputated it with the only tools, safety scissors and glue, that your third grade teacher taught you how to use.

When our voice has lost its steel. Lost its grip, lost its black-girl-magic. Sometimes I wish Facebook could solve the problem. That one post could bring tears to everyone’s eyes and just like that America would ensure liberty and justice for all. That the white house would be black and Lady Liberty Latino. But when your voice isn’t being heard you need to speak louder. To shout and shout until you lose your voice then shout some more, because they’ve only defeated you when they can no longer hear you.

So let freedom ring. Let freedom ring from all the mouths of the people that Facebook has coerced into silence. Let freedom ring from our hearts and souls from our mouths as we smile and gasp in the streets, let freedom ring from our fists held high in cold winter’s breath. Let freedom sing from the mouths of our mothers and sisters because we aren’t loud enough. We aren’t proud enough, and nobody, nobody ever got anywhere from sitting down.

William Lohier is in the tenth grade. He likes saying the word colloquially, and eating pie, especially peach. He plays cello and piano and thinks babies are really cute but even more creepy. He also likes mangoes, and being awesome.