How Many Men Must Die Before You Cry

Hello Mr. Policeman,

You don’t know me,

But I’m your worst nightmare,

I am an unarmed black man,

You look at me with fear in your eyes,

You don’t see me as a person,

You see me as a perp,

The law says that I am innocent until proven guilty,

But that’s for white men,

As soon as I was born,

I was guilty in your eyes,

A punk,

A thief,

A future felon,

You don’t see the person,

You don’t see the family waiting for me to come home,

Praying that I make it home for one more night,

For one last hug,

Hoping to hear me say a prayer with my child as I lay her down to sleep,

You don’t see me as a father,

A son,

A husband,

A lover,

A friend,

A member of a community,

A citizen of the United States,

How about just a fellow human being?

You can’t see any of that,

All you see is a black man,

One day you may be like so many other police officers,

You may kill me out of fear for your life,

A fear created by centuries of mistreatment by your ancestors of mine,

I am not the boogie man,

I do not have a hidden agenda,

We want to defund you,

We do not want to kill you,

We want what all living beings want,

We want to breathe,

Is that too much to ask for?

How many of us have to die before you cry?

(c) Howard Kern June 13, 2020