Song of the Fatigued Blacksplaining Folk
by Nordette N. Adams
Oh, that we had a time machine to launch some people
back as black men born to slavery in 1853
and have them stay alive through the Civil War, survive
the Jim Crow South and see 1964 when LBJ
signed The Act assuring liberty for Black folk in
America, land of the White called "free."
Then see their sons and daughters locked up
for suspect cause and be told they're deluded, always
playing bogus race cards, whenever they perceive
this nation less than godly pure, not sainted love
community, not post-racial, not yet cured. Better,
let some privileged citizens go back as black and
woman born in shackles, her body for experiment,
a breeder, merely chattel, who even after
Emancipation Proclamation, and Civil Rights,
and Women's Rights, she's scowled at in this nation.
Let the Scarboroughs and O'Reillys, the Limbaughs
and DeMints live our ancestors' lives and ours.
But would that make a difference?
Once returned to present time, again in their white
skins, would they have the fortitude to teach
their brethren, or what if they returned but retained
the darker body, would their former friends
suppress credulity? Could it be in privileged eyes,
see Black, see invalidity?
Perhaps, I've been absorbing so much subconsciously that I have not written about a poem had to appear. Today when I saw a friend post on his page a recent comment by Joe Scarborough saying President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder play the race card too much, this poem emerged. I would say also that the Melissa Harris-Perry apology to conservatives, the MSNBC apology and staffer firing over an honest tweet, everything certain myopia-afflicted white people have said about black people and Stand Your Ground laws, as well as the recent uproar over Hank Aaron speaking his mind, have all (with myriad other stories) played a role in this poem's emergence.
No, this poem is not the kind that would fly well in a poetry writing workshop. Someone would say, "It's too on the nose," or "It's too rhetorical," but I'm feeling it and this is my blog, so here it is. And thank God it's National Poetry Month, too. Maybe someone read it.