Anger–You Can See It On Their Grimaced Faces

Anger–you can see it on their grimaced faces;

Marching, hands raised in civil defiance.

Neither curfew nor militarization will quell them

In the face of injustice.

What passes for authority tries to divert,

Maybe he took the “sweets”, maybe he didn’t,

Maybe he smoked a little weed,

Maybe jaywalking is a capital crime in the south,

Maybe murder is ignored when hidden behind a badge.

So much for civil rights,

So much for equality under the law,

So much for compassion and common decency.

He was eighteen and unarmed,

Of this there is no dispute!

Perhaps he wasn’t an angel…are any of us?

I have bent the law,

Maybe even broken it a time or two,

But I’m still here, breathing, smiling, growing older.

We can deny–

That racism exists,

We can deny–

That blacks are treated differently than whites,

We can deny–

That skin color matters,

But denial doesn’t make it so!

Changing laws do not change hearts,

And time does not necessarily heal…

These are irrefutable facts.

Behind closed doors we disrobe,

Taking off our suit of political correctness,

To reveal naked hate.

We spew the epithets of our fathers,

Who broke the backs of an unwilling immigrant.

It’s as though times have never changed…

And perhaps they haven’t.

The manacles once of iron are now invisible,

The whips of braided leather no longer leave scars,

But the pain, fear and displacement still exists

…In this twenty-first century.


~~ Dominic R. DiFrancesco ~~


28 thoughts on “Anger–You Can See It On Their Grimaced Faces

  1. You have outdone yourself with this one!! So raw and real! The young man was running away and was shot 6+ times! Running away for God’s sake. Certainly not a threat. We have to get real about these things and quickly!! Thank you so much!

    • It is such a tragedy for all of us regardless of our race. Ultimately we are all human and nothing about this case would seem to justify the response. This kind of thing really must stop for all of our sakes. I just wish I didn’t feel inclined to have to write it.

  2. It’s absolutely ridiculous – the blatant racism – our police force being armed with combat equipment – is it any wonder things like this happen?

    Great post — I wish the topic were long dead — but till then you have to keep shouting till someone listens.

  3. So true, Dominic! People have marched in protest here as well in Montreal yesterday. It is a travesty and we do need to speak up about it…the world needs to! Cheryl-Lynn

    • You are absolutely right, this is a world problem and encompasses many more races, but racism is racism no matter the victim. Thank you for the re-blog by the way, I really appreciate you doing that.

  4. Reblogged this on Stop the Stigma and commented:
    A fitting poem for a travesty…a shameful, cruel, racist crime…nothing will soothe the broken hearts of family and friends but we do need to speak out…the world needs to…the media needs to be transparent and show the world.

    • Thank you very much Cheryl-Lynn, this occurrence has really bothered me. We like to hold ourselves up as the beacon of freedom and equality to the rest of the world, yet when criminal things like this happen we look like such hypocrites. It really disgusts me.

  5. Hi there Dom, glad you stopped by my little crazy blog. Powerful statement you made in this poem, I live in Spain but do keep up with the American news so my guess is that you´re talking about the murder of this black young man in Fergusson, although he wasn´t an angel as we saw later when he robbed some cigarettes from a store and grabbed the owner before the shooting, but still I don´t see the justification for killing an un armed man. Is there such thing as colour blind? That would be my question. And I don´t think there is such thing, and that is good because we are different and that´s what makes us great, as a world or as a society. I do remember when I first got to the U.S at a young age and saw black people, I never gave it too much thought. I saw black and that´s that. With some I got better than with others and not much more to the story. And where I come from in Spain you don´t see too many black people, quite little actually. But I just didn´t see anything over shocking with them, actually everything was shocking to me, the whole new world. The American world, so really never gave it too much thought about blacks and their struggles. As I´v grown older ofcourse you become aware that there is still racism, but that will never go away. There will always be a small percentage of the population in any country that hates. That´s a reality we can´t change. Enjoyed how you write and the statement in the poem.

    • Thank you, I really appreciate you nice comment. I grew up in a town that had no black people, but I guess I always looked at people as “people” never really caring what color they were. You are right that there is and always will be prejudice in the world and that is unfortunate, but I think we must root it out anywhere and everywhere possible and protect those that suffer under it. I am very glad that you like my poetry. I really do appreciate it and the great comment you posted…thank you again my friend.

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