Microaggression as social control

Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash (Barbican Centre, London, United Kingdom)

What is a microaggression really? I looked up the definition because I wanted to be sure I was clear. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it is: a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).

In thinking about it, I couldn’t come up with any extraordinary examples. And maybe that’s the point: the everyday nature of microaggressions. How they seep into conversation and under skin.

(Riot I)

Photo by Nechirwan Kavian on Unsplash

I refuse not to be born
all the envy and the rage
the five fingered fist
full of fuel and fire
empty of thorns

My eyes looking out
unto a universe
ever expanding
a future like uncrept vine
foolishly withering
a life unlived fully futile
clenched fists balled
flailing against a paper wall

What life is this
full of fury
bereft of hope
udderless lips
deny them scope
a spine lacking spine
lips hungering for milk
clinging to the pink teats
of the undertaker’s cow

withered dried rung out
they are

Riot II.
(Of Riots and Stars)

…and we are…

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

(Setup: A single white male gets up in front of a jury. The jury is comprised of cutouts of black cardboard figures (representing the black populous). It could be a simple jury of twelve, or a seemingly multitudinous jury comprised of 42 million American blacks, with rows upon rows of card-board cutouts going back and shrinking in perspective, like a series of dominoes. The man argues his case in front of the jury.)

“You want an apology from me. I’m not capable of giving one. I’m not personally sorry. By this I do not mean that I’m not sorry for…

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Looking inside each other’s skins

This poem is a part of “Equal People,” Our Human Family’s anthology of international poetry on equality and inclusivity.

Trapped inside I press my palms
flat against closed eyes
and look
at the stars the galaxy
My breath is the ocean

My hair receptors to other
(planets other)
galaxies than my own

When they tell you that your
______ is dead how far down in
your belly do you have to reach
to connect your scream to its

Cody is running home to his
The ink not yet dry on
the page

Where did you run to brother
all metaphors for your…

The perception of black bodies in everyday spaces

Photo by Sam Burriss on Unsplash

The Black Body Is a Threat

Roebuck, Birmingham, Alabama
witness a black off-duty cop
masquerading as

Walmart security
sweep a black woman off her feet
slam her face into —
sweet concrete —

Why? — Concerned Citizen, dare you ask?

She had not bothered to don a mask
to protect against the spread of disease
in the era of COVID-19

A move the state government did not legislate
though time and again they condone black fate

Ah dear reader, worry not
this is neither a new nor
unusual plot
mere echoes of the black beating disease
which shows no sign of abating
so cease your…

Photo by Ham Kris on Unsplash


How to be an immigrant child

This poem is a part of “Equal People,” Our Human Family’s anthology of international poetry on equality and inclusivity.

In search of better opportunities
mother left you behind

abandoned to the care of others
you should always be
for the kindness extended to you
even when they are not
being kind

You exist on the periphery
an outsider
looking in

What gratitude is this

familiar but a dream

Of what is it composed
a mother a father
two kids an extra
chair around the table

Looking on waiting not to be
served but for permission
approval to scoop

And how you can help.

Photo by Nick Owuor (astro.nic.visuals) on Unsplash

Trigger Warning: this article contains descriptions of sexual assault and abuse against minors that may not be suitable for all readers. Fearless community, please read with care.

What does it mean when you molest a child? Really, what does it mean? Or, better yet, what does it do? I mean, really ‘do?’ Oh, I know what it does physically, to a degree. It rips and shreds. It shreds their insides. Whether you inserted two fingers or a cock. It shreds. Whether you stuck your tongue in her mouth or slipped it somewhere else. It shreds. Whether you put two fingers…

Max Smith

Motivated by social justice, equality, humanity. Using words to shed light, build bridges & narrow gaps. EthnicWriter.com | maxsandrox@gmail.com

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