The following was born out of my attempt to respond to the killing of George Floyd on May 25 2020.
I’m not sure if it is fully finished, or ended up where I thought it was going to go; but sometimes you just have to respond, and articulate it in the best way that you can in that moment.
When will you acknowledge the total insanity of your distorted acts?
Of violence, not kindness, Of depravity, not equality,
Enacted at will, At the drop of a knee, No final countdown, before the firing of the gun.
When will you confess your sins of omission, your sins of neglect?
Are there bowls enough to wash our hands?
Is there water enough to make them clean?
All this talk of corporate social responsibility, but of corporate human responsibility?
Or is it only attractive when it promotes your brand, improves your ratings, satiates your savior complex?
Wherefore art thou Humanity?
How can you see me, yet continue to walk on by?
As if there was nothing to see here, nothing out of the ordinary; but therein lies the awful irony,
As there is nothing new to see here, nothing out of the ordinary about your disregard for my humanity,
No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs.
Some say those signs never existed, but others certainly do, and still exist to tell the tale. On literal walls and in the human mind.
Because when my life can be snuffed out to the tune of:
I – can’t – breathe
you must surely believe I’m just a little higher up than a dog.
And yet there again lies an awful irony, as in reality your dog is treated more humanely than me.
Humanity, Humanity, are you not sick of yourself?
How can you stomach this continued diet of wilful complicity?
As you make a determined choice to be involved or to ignore, what is plain to see; if one wishes to see.
The dismantling of my identity.
The denial of my right to ‘be’.
The eradication of my humanity.
RIP George Floyd.
~ J Whyne, London, May 28 2020.