(written during the George W. Bush era)
I’m finna get gangsta and pop some hot lead in ya ear
maybe then the signal will come in mo clear
cause it’s easy to ignore the heat
till your ASS is on fire
now we done voted Pinky & the Brain into the white house
and gave them gangsta fools another reason to win
cause they can see
that as long as we getting two or three
we stay numb & dumb
blind to their gangsta grind
& believe you/me
they put a lot of work behind the smirk on that jerk
he ain’t nearly as stupid as you think
I seen him wink
at Condi while her arm be
reachin’ for the button to put us on a
hunger strike like Gandhi
Cheney just shifted into third
& we still ain’t said a word
bout how he got us barreling toward hell in a
leather-interiored handbasket that seats 88
and gets 12 miles to the
5 dollar and 52 cent gallon
Cause we busy worrying about
Angelina, Brad & Britney
Halle, Bobby & Whitney
Lil’ Kim, MJ & Fitty
Martha Stewart, P Diddy
all these people who don’t even matter
we sitting in front of our tv’s getting fatter and fatter
eating Sausage McCancer Cakes with a side of heart attack fries
watching t&a videos and ignoring our children’s twisted cries
for attention – they just got gansta and went to have their own babies – maybe then somebody’ll listen.
Cause we’re headin’ for armageddon
lazy, paranoid and ignorant sheep
following the boy king to eternal sleep
unless we wake up
and take up arms
not guns – well, maybe one
but I’m not talking about gangsta flicks with guns blastin
i’m talking about gangsta fastin
clearing your mind of the social debris
turning of the damn tv
teaching your children what they missed in school
and not letting organized religion make you a bigoted, self-righteous fool
not buying a bigger house every time you get a raise
what about building wealth to give our grandchildren better days
I’m talking bout holding them accountable for their gangsta acts &
making them pay for their gangsta stats
they took all our freedoms
we takin’ em back
If we gonna beat these gangstas at their gangsta game
we gotta break loose from these mental chains
otherwise, it’s just more of the same
By Thembi Duncan
(Trigger Alert – violent imagery)
A bit of math, inspired by a seminal text of the black womanist movement:
All the women are white. All the blacks are men. All the queers are white men. Therefore, I do not exist.
No room for intersectionality in a zero sum world, and yet I breathe. Through my nose. For the brown face in my mirror has no mouth. I serve my voice to others for breakfast. To children. To men. To women who forsake me. To people who benefit from privilege that I will never hold in my hands.
Every 28 days, a fresh snuff film is released for the consumption of the masses. A black life is seen ending. I refuse to bear witness. I know full well that the images that you see – become a part of you. Funny that I have never seen anyone post a video of a black baby being born. Only death. Despair is my constant companion. Each day, the chants get louder and louder – Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter. Often countered with – White Lives Matter. Blue Lives Matter. There never seems to be enough room on their signs for the rest: “More than yours.”
Black Lives Matter. A social media, social justice, boots-on-the-ground movement sparked by three black queer women. To call attention to black men being lynched in the United States of America. To humanize
American citizens who are being hunted and murdered – American citizens who are given less regard than known terrorists in war-torn foreign lands, for whom our American military MUST respect the rules of engagement. And when they do not, they are prosecuted. But not here. Not in our beautiful, slave-built home – the United States of America.
When I see those queer women, walking the front lines, pounding this blistering, racist American pavement, marching for justice, inspiring more queer black women to take up fists in Canada, London, Israel…I feel my feet begin to stomp. I feel my fist rising, rising, rising…I feel my voice fighting its way to the surface.
But then I breathe in through my nose, and I smell the charred body of Goddess Diamond, who was only 20 when she was murdered and set aflame. Why is she not mentioned among the famous black martyrs? Why is she not a symbol of this Neo-Futuristic Technological Civil Rights Movement?
You say – Maya Young, Reecey Walker, and Dee Whigham were not stabbed by police officers. You say – Skye Mockabee and Shante Isaac were not bludgeoned by police officers. This is about extra-judicial killings, you say. Mercedes Successful and Kandice Johnson were not shot by police, you say. Veronica Banks Cano and Keyonna Blakeney were not mysteriously killed by the police. Yes, Deeniquia Dodds was shot dead in D.C. on the Fourth of July – but not by racist police. You’re mixing apples and oranges, you say.
But putting a woman’s very identity on trial, finding her guilty of inhabiting a mind and body that you deem unacceptable, and then playing judge, jury, and executioner in this twisted, violent injustice – is that not an extrajudicial killing?
If a transgender woman is murdered in the woods and no one is there to record it on their mobile phone, does her death make a sound?
If all of these Black Lives Matter vigils, marches, die-ins, blog posts, hashtags, speeches, poems, plays – are to galvanize us toward social justice, and BLACK is the operative word here, why are black transgender women still not a part of this conversation? This year so far, they have been killed at a rate of almost two per month. Do we not even care? I do. I recognize that I hold so many marginalized flags that my cisgender privilege is often obscured from my view. What about you?
This is not the Oppression Olympics, though if it were, black queer women would surely pull silver.
Tonight, consider what most black women do – for most of their lives – think of someone else first. Open your eyes a little wider and see her. Her black life matters, too.
Were I a fragrant spring breeze, would you remain still long enough for me to touch your face?