Little Boy Blue, a poem

Posting this poem yet again because my heart is hurting yet again. Things won’t change until we demand that they change.  But it takes a lot of us demanding change to make it happen.

 

Little Boy Blue

Oh little boy blue,
Playing with a gun,
Don’t you know someone
Once held you for her own?
Carried you for nine months,
Then rocked you for more?
Can you even understand
How you made her heart soar?

Oh little boy blue,
In your uniform so dark,
When you go about your work,
The stains never leave a mark.
You stand before your family,
Your chin lifted in pride.
The shine on your badge
Can’t hide the darkness inside.

Oh little boy blue,
How can you sleep at night?
Do you truly believe that
‘Might makes right’?
Your anger and aggression
Causes blood to pour.
Do you even know
Who you’re fighting for?

Oh little boy blue,
Your friends call you out to play.
Now you’re hunting in a pack
Each and every day.
Didn’t your mother teach you
Not to always follow the crowd?
Is there ever an end
To the violence you’re allowed?

Oh little boys in blue,
Playing with your guns,
Don’t you realize we’re all
Someone’s daughters and sons?

Copyright 2015, Kat Micari

Our Abusive Relationship with the Police

The general population of the United States is in an abusive relationship with the police force. It varies city by city and state by state, but it is a nationwide problem.

I realized the direct parallel while watching the video from Sandra Bland’s arrest.

While watching the video, I could hear the voices of many of my relatives in the back of my head. “Why didn’t she just comply? Why did she have to say “fuck”? Why did she antagonize him?” And it sounded exactly like the victim-blaming that still happens in many issues of domestic violence. “Why did she provoke him?” But this kind of thinking is really dangerous. Sandra Bland knew her rights, and she stuck up for them, and she probably died for them. And this is just one case, and it goes for both men and women in their interaction with officers who are supposed to be upholding the law.

And if you think that you are safe because you are white and middle or upper class, because you only break the law a little bit when it suits you, and because you grovel whenever you do come in a contact with an officer with a gun, then you are wrong. It is only a matter of time, because people with a gun and without a conscious, people who think they are above the law, people who think they deserve the perks they get, people who feel they have something to prove even when it crosses the line into violating the rights of others will not stop their actions. Maybe you’ll just be crossing a street somewhere at the wrong place or time, or they’ll get your house number mixed up with someone else in your neighborhood suspected of dealing drugs, or a neighbor will report a supposed domestic situation and they’ll come and kill your dog. Your status in this society is worth little to them, except for the fact at this point it’s a little harder to shut you up if they do cross the line. But with the growing wealth disparity, that is rapidly becoming a null point.

I still remember seeing my father completely change character when he was pulled over for a traffic infraction, and then again when we were working various summer festivals and a group of sheriffs would come over. (Married sheriffs who were asking the 19 year old girls working behind the counter for my dad to come out and party with them after their shift, by the way.) He would become completely servile and ingratiating, and when I asked him why after the first time I witnessed him doing this, he told me “You always respect someone with a gun.” We’ve come to a point in our society that that kind of thinking won’t fly. You can respect someone with a gun the way you would respect a dangerous or rabid animal, but until we all start being more vocal about the rights for every citizen in this country, we are going to see all of our lives grow more dangerous daily. And that is a travesty.

Little Boy Blue – a poem

Reblogging this because it seems relevant this week.

Kat Micari

Oh little boy blue,
Playing with a gun,
Don’t you know someone
Once held you for her own?
Carried you for nine months,
Then rocked you for more?
Can you even understand
How you made her heart soar?

Oh little boy blue,
In your uniform so dark,
When you go about your work,
The stains never leave a mark.
You stand before your family,
Your chin lifted in pride.
The shine on your badge
Can’t hide the darkness inside.

Oh little boy blue,
How can you sleep at night?
Do you truly believe that
‘Might makes right’?
Your anger and aggression
Causes blood to pour.
Do you even know
Who you’re fighting for?

Oh little boy blue,
Your friends call you out to play.
Now you’re hunting in a pack
Each and every day.
Didn’t your mother teach you
Not to always follow the crowd?
Is there ever an end

View original post 27 more words

A Practical List of Options in Response to Ferguson

With the near media blackout, increased use of force by the police, and the simmering unrest in Ferguson, MO in response to the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown last Saturday, it occurs to me that many Americans who care about these things are probably feeling a sense of futility, a what-can-I-possibly-do attitude. So I’ve come up with a list. Feel free to suggest more in the comments, and I will add to it.

  1. If you live in Missouri, take 10 or so minutes to craft an email and send it to your governor and to your local and state politicians today. For the rest of the country, wait until about noon tomorrow (giving the community almost a week to deal with this but not allowing another weekend to go by without making your opinions known), and do the same at the federal level – send an email to the offices of your state representatives in D.C. as well as any office of the federal government that you think flooding their inbox may cause someone to speak out publicly. Keep your language formal, polite, but firm. Specifically call out the abuses of power and the race issues that you find most abhorrent. Submit a copy of your email to your local press and maybe it will be included in their op ed section.
  2. If you are planning a local protest, research the laws in your town before beginning. Comply with all of the rules, if possible. Create a press release, again using formal language, and inform the local press. Use the media and the Internet as much as possible. Document everything. If the police engage you while protesting, do not respond to the taunts. Taking the high road makes your argument much stronger.
  3. Talk with others about the issues surrounding.Ferguson. The race and class inequities that exist in our country are real. When engaging others, either in person or online, avoid name calling, party rhetoric, or harsh language. Don’t feed the online trolls. Keep your arguments concise and well-written. Proofread before you post anywhere.
  4. If you are uninformed about race issues in this country or think people are blowing the issues out of proportion, do some historical research. If you can’t stand to actually read boring facts, then at least watch Blazing Saddles and a few episodes of The Boondocks animated series. Then at least you can laugh while you learn something.
  5. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into the media spin. Read enough to keep yourself informed, be active any way you can, but it won’t do anyone any good if you are constantly glued to your supposed “news” sources, merely consuming the bits of information and misinformation being fed into your brain.
  6. If you are a nonwhite American, know that the police will be watching you more closely, no matter where you live. Tensions are probably high in the departments right now, and all it will take is an eyebrow twitch to set some of the officers over the edge. Be careful. It is grossly unfair that you have to, but your safety is important.
  7. Edited to add: here is a link to a Bail and Legal fund set up to help those arrested: http://antistatestl.noblogs.org/post/2014/08/11/bail-and-legal-fund-for-those-arrested-during-ferguson-anti-police-demonstrations/ I have not yet researched the legitimacy of this, so do your homework before giving funds, but if you have the funds, please consider donating.

Bottom line, stay smart. Don’t allow yourself to be numb or wash your hands of America yet, but keep your anger and frustration focused and constructive rather than destructive.

To Serve and To Protect – A Poem

To Serve and To Protect

Corruption and hatred
Is the way
To ensure special interests
Remain the same.
Gang violence
And race warfare
Fought in uniform,
Paid for by citizens
Who get neither service
Nor protection.
Only harassment,
Abuse of power,
And the vague feeling
That this has all happened before.
The system is broken,
One could say,
But not for those on top.

Copyright 2014, Kat Micari.