The Talk: A Poem

The following is a poem written by Jabari Asmin after the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. People think everyone should pick a side but it's not a choice easily made. I know there are good police officers but too many unarmed men and children are getting a death sentence instead of a day in court. The system needs to be changed and until people admit that racism is still a major issue in America, nothing will change.
"It’s more than time we had that talk about what to say and where to walk, how to act and how to strive, how to be upright and stay alive. How to live and how to learn, how to dig and be dug in return. When to concede and when to risk, how to handle stop and frisk: Keep your hands where they can see and don’t reach for your ID until they request it quite clearly. Speak politely and answer sincerely. The law varies according to where you are, whether you’re traveling by foot or driving a car. It won’t help to be black and proud, nor will you be safer in a crowd. Keeping your speech calm and restrained, ask if, in fact, you’re being detained. If the answer is no, you’re free to go. If the answer is yes, remained unfazed to avoid being choked, shot or tased. Give every cop your ear, but none your wit; don’t tempt him to fold, spindle, mutilate, hit or otherwise cause pain to tendons, bones, muscles, brain. These are things you need to know if you want to safely come and go. But still there is no guarantee that you will make it home to me. Despite all our care and labor, you might frighten a cop or a neighbor whose gun sends you to eternal sleep, proving life’s unfair and talk is cheap."

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