The following poem was published on the webzine, ‘I Am Not A Silent Poet’ on 11th July 2016.
According to mappingpoliceviolence.org, ‘Police killed more than 100 unarmed black people in 2015.’ And ‘Unarmed black people were killed at 5x the rate of unarmed whites in 2015.’
Forty years ago Bob Dylan was singing (in ‘Hurricane’) about a black man, Rubin Carter, sentenced for murder by an all-white jury: ‘How can the life of such a man/ be in the palm of some fool’s hand?/ To see him obviously framed/ couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed/ to live in a land where justice is a game.’ What’s changed?
Ashamed to be white
(in memory of Alton Sterling of Baton Rouge, Louisiana
and Philandro Castile of St.Paul, Minnesota,
murdered by white police officers.)
‘Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind.’ John Donne
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