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The following six-word stories are based on events I saw on a bike ride on June 25, 2020. The scene almost looked “staged” as it unfolded in front of me. Unfortunately, because I was riding in heavy traffic, I couldn’t take a picture or video.Keith M. Kelley
103. Observed “quality time” at reopened playground.
104. Women recording video of themselves twerking.
105. Men “supervising” children with illegal fireworks.
106. Men passing a brown paper bag.
for the “underserved.”
“Black on Black crime” is
racist, and a deflection
to skew narratives.
#BLM or #blacklivesmatter is a hashtag not an omnibus or silver bullet to address all the racial issues of this country (world). Americans tend to like things quick and convenient. The dramatical changes we need to heal this country (world) require hard collaborative work. They are neither quick nor convenient. Instead of asking, “What about Black on Black crime?” Try a asking “What can I do to promote a climate and culture of love and healing?” Shit, that might even help address “White on White” crime. Cultural change is multifaceted and nonlinear. That’s not to say that you can’t compare apples to oranges. Of course you can! Why do you think they’re both in the “produce” section? The “what about Black on Black crime” question begs for orange juice to be made from Granny Smith apples!
Centuries before Covid-19 hit
A pandemic infected this country.
And since it was a plague, we ignored it.
We whitewashed genocide and slavery.
We wore politically corrected masks
To shield others from verbal aerosol.
Treating the symptoms was a short-term task.
Red, blue and white pride came before this fall.
Historic disparities reared their heads.
Structural biases waged their impacts.
Statistics mattered, after all was said
By white men in power disputing facts.
Racism, the plague we chose to ignore,
Led coronavirus to Black folks’ door.
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,— Paul Laurence Dunbar
This poem is a COVID-19 “remix” of “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar. I tried to follow Dunbar’s original rhyme scheme and meter. I hope you enjoy it and take it as a “public service announcement” to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). You can listen to the demo on SoundCloud below. Peace, Love & Safe Passage!
We wear masks and save others’ lives. Covered beneath N-95s, Making our own to last a while. While presidential denials Try to downplay casualties. We wash our hands and sanitize To prevent a viral surprise. Bandanas to protect, not style. We wear masks. We smile to strangers with our eyes, And shop for essential supplies. We sing and post to our profiles. God bless the “remote learning” chile! While black men keep dropping like flies We wear masks. Chicago, IL
For more information on COVID-19 updates and prevention, visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/index.html
Waiting in line for toilet paper!
Hoarding toilet paper
Hoarding the essential
Essential is a relative term
Good die young
Good people still die
Die of loneliness
Die of ignorance
Ignorance with a megaphone
Ignorance in denial
Denial of the truth
Denial of facts
Facts based on evidence
Facts that can be verified
Verified by clinical studies
Verified by experts
Experts with experience
Experts with knowledge
Knowledge germain to the discussion
Knowledge is power
Power to influence
Power has sex appeal
Appeal to the base
Appeal to the unwashed masses
Masses cancelled in the vatican
Masses overwhelming hospitals
Hospitals providing curbside triage
Hospitals rationing their surgical masks
Masks to protect from airborne pathogens
Masks worn to masquerade balls
Balls of brass igniting presidential pants
Balls and bravado masquerading as brains
Brains of the operation
Brains are called sweet bread
Bread flew off the shelves
Bread and water
Water from springs
Water purified of pollutants
Pollutants that poison the air we breathe
Pollutants diminished when we stayed home
Home is where the hatred is according to Gil Scot-Heron
Home should be a sanctuary
Sanctuary from hatred
Sanctuary from the ignorant
Ignorant in bliss
Ignorant and contagious
Contagious like rumor spreading like a virus