Black and Blue/Blue and Black
What sense does it make to call for help
And then prep yourself
In case your “help” actually deems you a threat?
I called you, asking you to protect me.
Stop the bad guy.
But somehow, I end up with a gun in my face
Because the one who’s supposed to be “trained”
Saw my skin
And thought, “Foul play.”
You expect me to care for empowered racists?
And don’t say, “What about the Black cops?”
Because the Black cops view me just the same.
It’s why they got belligerent when the questions came,
Or my nonchalant attitude was perceived as a challenge.
To them I’m just another criminal, another inmate, another fool.
I just haven’t revealed it yet.
Even though I’ve spent all my life acquiring tools
That shout in my stead, “He’s intelligent! A law-abiding citizen!”
They don’t care.
They’re the feds.
So, I speak to them with reserved feelings.
Red and blue lights don’t make it easy to sleep at night.
I’m not certain justice was served.
I’m just certain I don’t want it to be my car stopped by the curb.
I understand your workload is a heavy burden.
I know the pay and hurt make you question it’s worth.
I understand half your day is spent with criminals and inmates,
But I’m not an ingrate.
I’m not out looking to mess up someone’s day.
I’m not trying to make policing hard for you.
I’d even appreciate being friends with you...
But I see how you do.
And don’t call it a bad fruit
Because fruit don’t fall far from the tree.
And the seed that sprouted into the judiciary
Made sure to set its disadvantages against people who look like me.
But that’s cool.
As I said, I’m no fool.
I’ll do my best to avoid you.
Not to make you suspicious or do something wicked,
But just to give a warm face with no ill intention.
I’ll be the break you need from the cop mindset.
You can ease your mind.
You can take your time.
You’re off the clock with me.
I’ll shoulder the burden of being respectful and friendly
So you don’t give up on humanity.
I do it because believe or not, I love you,
And I look up to you.
It’s not easy to do what you do.
I recognize that.
Real recognize real.
So, despite the disadvantages, bad apples, and disrespect,
I will shoulder the justice of understanding and restraint.
You’ve done my people wrong, but I won’t return the harm.
I’ll let God be the Judge between you and me.
I pray we both end up with favorable decrees.
I pray we both learn to be more patient and understanding.
This deep-seeded hatred can’t consume us.
In a better world we can be sisters and brothers.
We’re aiming for that better world to come sooner rather than later.
Why don’t you come join us?
Blue and Black
Arrest the crook, book them in jail,
Receive their bond, and let them free.
Wash, rinse, rest, and repeat.
They make it sound so easy.
Like I’m just supposed to forget yesterday’s tragedies
Or ignore today’s acts of greed.
Why is a jail half Black
In a city that is a quarter Black?
I see why they call me pig.
Another pawn in the systematic oppression.
Another coon scavenging the Caucasian judicial branch’s table.
Daily, I’m faced with: let it slide, because he’s Black,
Or maintain justice, because I’m Black.
I’m pit against my mother’s children,
Judged because I believe in a righteous mission,
And made into a fence
Between justice, racism, protection, and criminalization.
Alliances change with points of view.
Civilization loves to say, “F the police.”
But won’t answer the phone for a suicidal teen.
You won’t answer the call
Of a battered wife screaming to save her children
From an abusive husband who’s been drinking.
You won’t investigate the scene of a kid
Who used a shotgun to shoot his face off clean.
Why don’t you walk the halls of a jail
With inmates masturbating to you in their cell,
Saying, “F your wife,” because they can tell
Where the tanned ring starts and ends.
Why don’t you chat online for hours
With pedophiles who think you’re a preteen?
Why don’t you listen to the testimony of a sex slave?
Why don’t you protect the sexually abused?
You deal with the muck.
You police the insane.
You cut the old man down from his bed-sheet hanging.
You handcuff the child who got his friends strung out on drugs.
You tell the parents their child died drinking and driving.
Doesn’t surprise me to hear you volunteers silent.
God chose between the two of us, and you are not it.
I’m justice. I’m the law.
I’m the authority. I’m the police.
God put me in the place
Because He knew what I could take.
He saw my heart and He gave me the badge,
Long before a human ever stepped into my path.
I crave justice. I desire peace.
But all the media displays are the evil seeds.
They don’t show how forty hours a week becomes seventy,
Easily and repeatedly.
They don’t show how many criminals we take in,
Kicking and screaming.
They don’t show how many times we get cussed out,
Just for breathing.
They don’t see how people disrespect the people they don’t believe in.
They’d have you believe we’re all off the deep end.
But it’s the system we’re in.
A system that keeps us awake at night,
Because we just broke up a child prostitution ring.
A system that keeps us on therapy and medications,
Because disability is rape vulnerability in the prison system.
A system that pays us like our lives aren’t constantly in danger.
A system we desperately want to change,
But by the time the votes came,
The cycle started to repeat again.
It’s flawed. It’s biased. It’s negligent, misinterpreted.
Some manage to get away with it.
Others are screwed by it.
Watchers get evidence coupled with perception,
And suddenly you say you hate them.
You hate us.
You hate me.
Just because I occupy a seat you’d pray wasn’t empty.
But it’s okay, though. It’s cool.
I’ll bear the burden of hunting down your rapist from school.
I’ll arrest the thief who stabbed you in the street.
I’ll answer the call about the shooter at the mall.
I’ll stop the terrorist with a bomb strapped to his chest.
I’ll deal with the racists on your behalf.
I’ll protect and I’ll serve, all while undermanned.
I’ll make sure the bad guys get what they deserve,
Even the bad guys who wear our uniforms in disguise.
And I’ll do it with a smile on my face.
Because not many dare to put evil in its place.
That’s my job.
I know why I became a cop.
It’s good to be reminded why I’m the one with the siren.
Because humanity is worth protecting.
People are worth saving.
They deserve every effort.
God showed me that.
Regardless of what I’ve seen, and I’ve seen many things,
I wouldn’t trade this job for anything.
I belong here. You can’t get rid of me.
Just step off and let me be.
Perhaps this should be a letter, a documentary, or an autobiography.
But I stuck with poetry.
I don’t have that kind of time.
The next shift has already started.