The Trayvon Martins, The Marissa Alexanders, The Danroy Henrys, The Emmett Tills

Jose Vilson Jose


I started out the morning with this …

Morning. Still in mourning.
Saddened by the situation that we were born in
People playing God with our kids’ lives,
It’s hard to see where the God is,
Or where your guard is,
Or where your heart is …
So now I mourn for all our Trayvons,
Searching for peace from here to now on,
How do we start this?
Start with our kids,
The Marissas, the Danroys, the Emmetts, the Yusufs …

But I let my thoughts swim a little more. I ache. I lose words easily. I disconnect readily. I rather not say. But here’s this:

To live in America as a Black person is often …

To live in perpetual anger as a result of society’s perception of you.

To see yourself misunderstood before you even step firmly into your environment.

To be assumed criminal, even when in expensive cloths and foreign wingtips.

To have your entire existence truncated to a supposition that, yes, you can rap, even as you sing through bars.

To feel as if nothing you do, can do, will do, is right, er, white enough, and to completely abandon yourself in the wrongness.

To look up and to the side at others re-re-re-explaining their position until yours becomes theirs, because your voice isn’t enough to whitesplain things away.

To look down at your son, still not privy to the not-so-secret secret, that anything within his possession can get him dispossessed.

His skin is society’s sunburn, like his, like hers, like his, like hers …

Just for tonight. Every night.