Shallow America

Colin Kaepernick kneels peacefully during the national anthem. From www.SI.com.

You can’t judge a book by its cover-

One of America’s most infamous advices to me and you

Judging only the covers and not bothering any further-

America’s most infamous thing to do

Because research is mind-boggling and you can’t handle the truth

Because the root of the problem is anchored in you

So what do you do?

You open your eyes and mouths and close your ears

You ridicule those happily while they sit in puddles of tears

And blood for that matter

Because somehow, someway, you see them at fault

You say shit like, “Go back to Africa!”

We respond with, “You should’ve never brought us here.”

Then you say, “You should’ve never got caught!”

And then you look at the cover of the book and say, “He probably deserved to be shot.”

And that’s not how the story reads at all

But we’re supposed to stand up for this flag that you love that you know very little about yourself

The same flag that hung from the poles that our ancestors were flogged

And the last flag they saw as they were yanked up on tree limbs and set ablaze like hogs

Same flag that we ran from because they stood behind fully powered hoses and vicious dogs

The same flag that pigs wear on their uniforms as they hunt down Black people in the name of the law

But to you, it’s just a symbol of this “oh so great country”

And I need to stand for it

Even though this country doesn’t want me

When Francis Scott Key stated this is the land of the free,

He wasn’t talking about people like me

Because the people like me were on his plantation probably chained up to a tree

But that’s not what the book cover reads

So monkey see, monkey do

And America, that monkey happens to be you

How does it feel, now that you wear that shoe?

You probably don’t realize you have it on

Because your nose is so high up in shallow clouds that you don’t see what’s going on around you

Citizens are crying out for help, but you think they’re disrespectful to your symbolic flag

If a chain is as tight as the weakest link, then the Black link is the one that drags

Surround that with Brown links and Red links, and links that aren’t White are nowhere near the mud

And America would rather it be like that

As long as we, being drug through the mud, pay our patriotic respects to that damn flag