WELL, THEN, WHOSE LIFE DOES MATTER? @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

In mere moments, we will have what many of us have all been waiting for – a verdict in the Derek Chauvin/George Floyd Murder Case.  In my mind, based on what my eyes witnessed, there can be only one verdict in this case and that is a verdict of guilty.  If you watched those moments live, when a police officer, who is sworn to protect and serve, kept his knee down on the neck of another man for over 8 or 9 minutes (whichever you’d like to believe), then, you saw what I saw – a man killed right in front of my eyes … a sight I hope to never witness again.

This is an old poem of mine, but, I feel in light of the anxiety that we must be feeling right now, in anticipation of this verdict, it was only fitting that I pull it out, dust it off and ask you this question again…

 

“DOES MY LIFE MATTER?”

I am a black woman, and because of the shade of my skin and coarseness of my hair, because of the fullness of my hips, my lips and the bold colors I wear…some don’t find me as attractive as my fairer counterparts.  You see, I’m no longer your house-maid or here for your sexual pleasure;  no longer Mamie to your children, I’m now someone’s Mother…a treasure.  But, does my life matter?

I am a black man, and because of my dark skin and the boldness of my stance, because of the kinky in my hair, the anger in my stare, and the wear and tear shown on my hands…some still don’t see me as a man.  You see, I’m no longer your field property or your whipping post.  I’ve freedom papers and own land now, maybe, more than most.  You build cages to hold me, guilty or not;  where you should build institutions of higher learning, you lock me away for little things, then leave me there to rot.  Will my bed forever be a cot?  Does my life matter?

I am a white woman, and because of my milk-dove skin and cute, pinched nose, thin ruby red lips and fair skin that glows…with my pearly whites and prominent chin…some still look at me and despise the skin I’m in.  I was never privy to the pain that was caused.  I was born into that hatred…those God-awful laws.  So, does my life matter?

I am a white man, born into privilege and wealth, easy life, perfect health, yet…I’m still persecuted and referred to as “the man.”  I, too, hate the ways of the Ku Klux Klan.  My neighbors are black, white, green and red…still, I haven’t fled.  To be where everyone looks more like me, is not where I want to be.  I, too, would like to one day be FREE. (Yes, FREE!  It also applies to me!)  FREE of the labels that bind because of the color of my skin. I’ve never owned any human or degraded any man. But, does my life still matter?

I am a brown-skinned woman and because of my accented words, you think I should be silent…quiet – not heard.  I can do more than clean your windows and floors.  Just ask me what I’m capable of, you’d be surprised, I’m sure.  I may have come here via the back of a truck, or even the legal route, if I was blessed with such luck.  Maybe I was born here, and my parents, too.  In your eyes, would that still make me less American than you?  Does my life matter?

I am a brown-skinned man and though maybe a bit stocky, I’m no less in appearance, than your brawn and cocky.  I’m not a rapist, a thief or thug…but, a man like you, with kids to hug.  I’m not ashamed to tend your lawns and trees, but Executive, also a title I wear with ease;  whatever it takes…my family to feed. Don’t dismiss or overlook me, and then turn away;  I may not have been born here, but I’m here to stay.  And with that said, does my life matter?

With all that’s going on, there’s much racial unrest.  It’s time to put differences aside and put real LOVE to the test.  We can’t keep fighting each other, when there are real wars going on.  We must come together in love, heal and stand strong.  There are real enemies among us, and their names we know not.  We must stand on the front lines, together and talk.

The differences between us are fewer than those in our heads;  and in the end, until we draw our last breath,  we all still bleed red.  Yes, that small matter is what makes us brothers, and binds us tighter than any other.

That stream of red flowing through our veins, is what should force us to…
release all blame,
stop the pain,
forge ahead,
no more blood we’ll shed.

Hatred is coming from all sides and it’s time WE all bring it to a peaceful end.

How do you feel?  Do all lives matter to you?

12 Comments

  1. Well said, Nonnie! All lives should and must matter to all of us if humanity to survive and thrive. Together we can!

    Like

  2. Beautifully said, Nonnie. Your poem will never lose its relevance. ALL lives matter to the living God who made them, and they should all matter to each of us, with no exceptions.

    Like

  3. petespringerauthor

    Thank goodness the verdict went the way it did. Our country has had enough unrest without adding more fuel to the fire. We sure have a long way to go for a society that likes to talk about equal rights.

    Like

  4. I remember when you first shared that poem, Nonnie, and it still creates such a powerful impact today. Thanks for sharing it again. 🙂

    Like

  5. Nonnie, thanks so much for sharing these words. I am reading :Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own,” by Eddie Glaude, Jr. It’s bringing back many memories of the Civil Rights movement for me, MLK’s death, and so much more. I remember how this country exploded in 1968, where we had far more death and destruction following MLK’s murder, the RFK’s murder, then the Democratic convention, and so much more. The whole country was burning, it seemed to me. James Baldwin wrote back then, “Ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy of justice.” His writing could be inspirational and also prophetic. My heart aches for the other young Black people who have died at the hands of police this week–Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and today another one. If only people would read your poem, perhaps they’d figure out that we’re all living, breathing human beings, all with similar goals in life–hoping against hope that our families will survive and thrive, hoping that our children will grow and become solid citizens, hoping that we don’t allow hatred to take over our hearts and minds. It doesn’t matter when you wrote the poem; it’s just as relevant today as it was 26 years ago when the Murragh Federal Building was blown up, as relevant as it was when Medgar Evers was killed in his driveway as his wife and kids watched, as relevant as it was when four little girls lost their lives when white supremacists blew up a church in Birmingham. My friend Reggie Harris has a new song called “It’s Who We Are,” but the last chorus says, “But we can change.” Yes. Yes, we can.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think we all sat around the TV late this afternoon, holding our breath, waiting for that verdict and praying it was the right one. Thank God, it was. Now we pray that it will lead to the changes so many are waiting for. A powerful post, Nonnie. Thank you.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. NONNIE, So glad you had the words ready! It’s just too much to be well spoken and appropriate now! All I feel is overwhelming gratefulness to the jury. Thank you, Ms. Jules, for being prepared. That’s what leadership is—forethought.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Shirley Harris-Slaughter

    Nonnie the words on your post speak to me. It’s saying what I feel. This has truly been a stressful day and I am so filled with emotions. Thank you so much for sharing this piece.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Beautifully written, Nonnie. The similarities among all of us outnumber the differences, and overall, the differences are not nearly as important as the similarities. There are so many of us who know that and more are learning it every day. “And now these remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Beautifully said, Nonnie. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Let us hope that our country walks into the Light and renounces its racism. Blessings, Jennie

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well said, Jennie! We can continue to hope and pray that our hope brings about change.
      Thanks for dropping by!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: