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Jun 2020
I used to have a classmate
Who was disappointed in me one day
Because I wrote about how the flag
The pride of our nation
Reminded me of hate
But she would not read what I had to say

She thought the same as a lot of people
Who do not look like me
The look at the flag and see proud history
But we see our blood running in streams
We see stars that we cannot reach
Because for far too long
For reasons unbeknownst to me
We are treated like the enemy

We go for a run
We read in our cars
We ask you for help

Then we're falsely accused
And beaten bruised
You put your knees in our necks
And bullets in our backs
You dare to call this the land of the free and justice for all
When we could not be farther from that

And yet you blame us

We are lazy
We play victim
We play the race card
But you make a profit when we are behind bars

Do you really believe we have ourselves to blame
When for centuries you've treated us like animals impossible to tame
It's hard to get an education in a nation that does not care
Where we are bullied because of skin
And thrown away because of our hair
We cannot go shopping in peace
Whether for magazines or for our next meal
You watch us, follow us, or keep is from entering
Because you're afraid that we'll steal

But you've stolen our freedom and hate our success
In a nation under God that's supposedly blessed
Our triumph angers you
Heat rushes to your cheeks
You cannot deny this
'Cause we remember Black Wall Street

Tell me why are you so indifferent
Why are you so blind
Why can't you see past your privilege and pride
Why do you care more about keeping us in chains
Than when we die
Than when we are killed right in front of your eyes

We can't breathe

But you refuse to hear me
You don't want our voices to be heard
But you will fight with your life just to say the n word

We can't breathe

For hundreds of years
In hundreds of ways
You've kept us slaves
You put our liberty in graves
Freedom that was never truly alive in the first place
But we will let no man pull us low enough to hate

Instead we will fight
We will write
We will sing
We will preach
We will rise

You set fire to our structures
But we will burn across the sky
We will march hand in hand
Until you understand

That despite different complexions, hair textures, and body shapes
That the same blood runs through all of our veins
That there is only one human race

We will have liberty
We will have justice
And we will have peace
For the first time in centuries

We will be able to breathe
Written by
Jae  19/F
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