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Black Like Me, Too

I often feel inadequate

And you know this feeling

Like all you have to offer this world is in accord to stereotypes

Where questions like,

“What’s your favorite color?”

“Will you be my best friend?”

That were once asked out of childlike innocence

Have been shaped by hands of cynicism and sarcasm

Designed to cleverly cage your culture with cunning curiosity

“Do you rap?”

“Can you dance?”

And if you passion for anything of this fashion

You qualify yourself to walk their runway of shame

Becoming the butt of black jokes

The reason behind chuckles and sarcastic criticism

As snickers circle your ebonics and cultural colloquialisms

Which are foreign, foolish, filthy

To society’s sterilized prescriptive grammar globe

So if you is choppin’ it up wit’ yo folks

Talmbout how dey J’s  is dope

Yo intelligence be irrelevant

Cuz it’s assumed that yo lack of linguistics deserves pity

Celebrated by those convinced that you’re the problem

In their opinion, if you only valued police compliance

Exercised the right to remain silent

There’d be no worry about getting shot

Nor seeing riots

And church folks turn backs on black issues

Preaching a colorblind rhetoric that says:

Ignore differences all together

Believing that their black cousin, or dark skinned BFF has enlightened them

Disagreeing that there’s white privilege at all

And in turn, remain holy and homogenous

Believe me, i’ve felt your pains

Accustomed to being the elephant in suburban town church buildings

Amongst many caucasian brothers and sisters

Who have probably driven through the ghetto

But never intentionally walked its streets

Grafted their souls to blood stained sidewalks

Run hands over beautifully spray canned murals of the broken

Yet sit comfortably in circles of Kumbaya  

Discussing what’s wrong with God’s church

When I know peers who peer through bullet blotched windows

Dying in the hood without hope

Making me wonder “what the heck am I even doing here?”

When I could be there

Though I bite my tongue

Knowing that if I share worries within the theater of my mind

I’ll be labeled Ludacris

Leaving others to flip the script

Accusing me of playing victim

When the way “my people” act is the problem

So i’ve stopped searching for solutions

Uncomfortably laugh when late

As friends joke about me running on “CP” time

Giggling

Trying to make sense of feeling that don’t make sense

Then I find this penny for my thought

That you also often feel inadequate,

With an inadequacy that I can’t ever relate with

Like all you have to offer this world is in accord to stereotypes

Where questions

Questions that were once asked out of  innocence

What’s your favorite color?

Will you be my best friend?

Now have been  shaped by hands of ignorance and obstinance

Designed to cleverly cage your culture

“Whos yo favorite country singer?”

“Is yo parents rich? Is you rich?”

And if you happen to have cheese

Great, ‘cuz we’ve shredded you over our assumptions

Nicknaming you “that one white kid” at lunch

As if none of your characteristics really matter

Unless you are that white kid that raps

Living in the trap, playing craps

Convincing ourselves that you look like Eminem

Even though freckles frolic over face like a field fire

With hair follicles as red as a Cardinal’s feathers

And women are given the hardest time

Seen as prey to us young-minded predators

With confidence placed in our onyx skin

That makes us bolder

Believing the lie that every young lady wants to rock wit us

And if you turn down our request to kick it

Claiming that we have no game, unable to play our cards right

And you’re over 21

We bust out in concealed shame, saying “it’s cause we’re black, jack”

We can’t forget teachers

Selflessly accepting inner city placements

Only to hand out “F’s”, and then be deemed a racist

Though students choose not to study on a daily basis

And never forsake noble police officers

Who take heat from lousy deputies

Burning under glares of hate

From those of different ethnicity

Who view them all as enemies

As if every cop has the urge to stop

Pop and imprison every black skinned boy and girl

This feeling, I will never know

Though youthful ignorance would’ve told me so

From elementary school years that brought many tears

To high school days of being called “white boy” by peers

Teased, tackled, torn apart

Topsy turvy to why i’m too black to befriend

And too white to hangout with on weekends

Even with all my playground experiences

That chucked wood chips in my weeping eyes

I’d never understand the painful planks pressed in yours

But I don’t have too

I don’t have to experience

Nor point out difference

To show compassion and love you through oblivion

Because the Son of man merged Jews and Gentiles

Parting pride and prejudice through his blood so red

See, we don’t need to feel offended

Nor exhaust brains with ways to reach a culture

But realize that we all feel inadequate

We all are broken

And we all need to know love

Dearly

As I realize this, I have no choice to conclude

That I’m white like you

And you’re black like me, too
Posted 06/02/16
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