My brother. . .
You are still crying. . .
in a darkened cell
accused of merely being
Once again, they have descended
wearing the robes of Klansmen
and representatives of the law.
They say they are decent, hard-working white citizens concerned
about decency and fairness,
though they bear the slogans of Jim Crow and Jefferson Davis.
Once more, the South is a battleground.
Only this time the Confederacy's
behind subtleties and fabricated statistics.
They deny that racism still exists in our America
and that we are truly the greatest country on earth.
Yet, their children hang nooses for humor,
and smear epithets of hatred across your face.
At every corner,
you are beaten and spat upon,
kicked by polished boots or torn sneakers
while the townspeople can only shake their heads.
You are dragged about as your mother screams and your brothers are
"Poor boy," is all that some can say.
You are humiliated and laughed at,
called a "coon" or "nigger,"
If you rise up, the regular folk will all condemn you
for being a rabble-raiser.
and starting nagging conversations on CNN or Fox
Yet you are an American
and a man who bleeds
You have lifted yourself up for centuries
You are the scream that pierces through the
Your hand is clinched into a fist,
though your voice is a more powerful weapon.
It drifts alongside the words of Martin
whose dream is yet unfulfilled.
Your strength rallies,
though you know that there is only
against the night's vast indifference.
Yet, from your hopes
are born possibilities,
and in your resolve
there arise new movements.
Yet, from your solitude,
you look upwards,
into a young child's face,
and can only greet
him with tears
and the knowledge that America
is still not free.
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