Thursday, June 4, 2020

They Looted & They Looted: Chant Poem

An important assessment of the protests 
and the subsequent condemnations of the looting 
came from Trevor Noah 
at the beginning of this week. 

What stood out was his phrase 
"The police in America are looting black bodies." 

Here's a statistic:

"1 in 1000 black men will be killed by police violence in their life time."

 (The Guardian, June 3, 2020)

And so a poem began to unfold, with the background question:
Who are the consistent, predatory looters out there? 

They Looted & They Looted


They looted black bodies. And there was a terrifying silence.

They looted the water and there was nothing to drink but lead and death, and there was praise for profits accrued and quotas met.

They looted brown bodies. And there was a terrifying silence.

They looted food programs and gave the booty to military contractors, and the praise was bountiful.

They looted the earth and the canyons roared with the fundamentalist black and white language of engines and pumps and dominion and there rose from the dark pits a terrifying silence.

They looted immigrant bodies and built a cage of praise to themselves. 

They looted the public schools, stole the voices of children, and laughed at how loud they sounded in the resounding silence.

They looted neighborhood after neighborhood, thieved bodies out of homes in the middle of the night to fill a vast prison system, and there was praise and a demand for more bodies, and more bodies were delivered and there was even more praise.

They looted the treasury and wagged their fingers at families put out on the street, and there was a terrifying silence.

They looted women’s bodies, and there was terrifying praise.

They looted the health care system that was no system at all and left behind a deadening silence.

They looted the air and left behind cancer and the rhetoric of filth and there was praise that echoed in the echo chambers of praise. 

They condemned looting and praised white bodies, and praised AK-47’s, and praised toughness and the work ethic, and then retreated to their bunkers and relied on other bodies to protect them when the going got tough.

They looted and they looted and could not stop looting and will never stop looting because looting is their language, their love, their beauty, their pleasure, their only dream...


No comments:

Post a Comment