Spoken Word: Hands up.

 Picture by Ann Charlotte Voie

Picture by Ann Charlotte Voie

"Hands up" they shouted
and they raised them in fright
even if they always doubted
if they'd ever win the fight,
with eyes closed in fear,
blood mixed with their tears,
wondering if they would make it through those nights.

Where the flames would eat them up,
where the streets would all erupt,
from living in the corrupt

nation of nations,

and all those men with their triggers,
no safety, just itchy fingers,
and the kids know they'll be stick figures
the ones painted on sidewalks
when they'll eventually face the Glocks
in the hands of those who call them niggers.

And those in power will tell them there's no use
in wearing that Guy Fawkes mask
when they're fighting for their country
to go in a different direction
while having a different complexion
than the men who rig elections,
the men who have no trouble with
putting kids in wooden boxes,
and pretending they're not objecting

the people who want inspection
of the men meant to protect them,
the people who want an explanation
of why some are more often put in prison
for crimes that come with living
in the neigbourhoods that will kill them,
the cities that society made for them,
and everybody wants to forget them
and leave them there, in a system
that they can't escape without victims
that used to be someone's children.

While others go robbing,
while others kill and smoke chronic
but they aren't always imprisoned
because their faces don't look demonic,
and their colour matches that of the police officers.


No bullets in their head, no blood stains in their hair,
they get the right to surrender,
they get the right to reason,
while the darker shade will always be the offender
that needs to stop breathing.

And nobody listens
to these niggers who raise their fists for freedom,
these men of power don't want the truth,
they only base their bullets on their convictions
that a black man who carries his Winston
is always out on a mission
to kill and smoke crystals,
they think they see the connection
between crimes, complexion and natural selection.

"They be carrying guns for shooting and looting"
that's what they're thinking of those Compton juniors
and the irony is stupid.

Has there ever been proven
that the bullets they shoot 
should only be at certain people,
that because of their conclusion
that those darker than you
carry genes that make them a dangerous movement,
that gives you the right to shoot them?


You can't say that it is rooted
in a certain kind of human
while justifying others
carrying that same steal in their pockets,
and the same amount of bullets,
having no objection
that they get to call it protection.

Let me make it clear - I don't support any kind of bullet fight.
Whether you be black or white,
Caucasian, African American or Saudi,
we're all made of flesh and blood
that should stay inside our bodies
and not color the streets red
in the name of justice, respect or hatred.

Our bodies should grow old and let go of life
they way we're told,
from learning laces to braces,
from work briefcases to old ages,
all those phases that make life worth it,
without ankle bracelets and unfair wages,
without lives wasted and generations
having to grow up in segregation
and getting famous
for lying dead on a pavement.

People need to put on sunshades
and see that we all change colors
when put in a different light

it's time to make that light the same,
it's time to make those changes,

an x-ray removing all vices
and showing that we're all brothers,
sisters, children, cousins, mothers,
families whose only wishes
is a life that is made up of 

kisses and riches,
and not bitches and stitches.


We need to close our eyes
and forget despise,
forget all the lies,
we're fed with the evening news
that implies
that one color makes for a darker bruise
on this country than another hue,


we need to realize
that one color faces more abuse,
more misuse,
more blues and drive-by's at drive-thrus,

and I drive thru the streets wondering

how


we all ended up in a world
that feels it has to choose
what color to represent us
and what color that will oppress us.

We forget Rosa on the bus,
we forget King and X,
we forget those kids who've had enough
and have given up on the freedom pursuit
and we've all forgotten
how the poplar trees used to carry
forbidden fruit.

It's not just about police brutality
or the number of racial fatalities,
the nationality of those responsible for criminality
or the morality of the nations.

It's about making those numbers come to life,
seeing the lives who were taken from us
through guns and knives,
someone's kid, someone's wife
it's time to fight

not with our hands in fists,
but our fingers intertwined
letting go of our differences
that are only a tiny part
of the bigger pictures

we need to paint with visions
of a future that's not only crimson

but filled with all kinds of colors,
that are not only numbers

but a rainbow of lives,
the entire race of humanity
the only proof


of love on this planet.

We need to remember that red
is the color that we all carry
on the inside
and that the sun will change our skin
but never change
how we all cried when we came into this world
and how our lives flashes by our eyes
the moments before we die.

White, black, yellow, brown
all phrases written down
by men who broke down
humanity into pieces
and put us on leashes
and told us to forget the reasons
why they reserved the freedoms
of living to certain people
and made us judge our neighbors
based on their skin's shade,
the amount of prison tattoos,
or if they believe in Jesus, Allah, Buddha or Vishnu.

We are all made of stardust,
dust that should never be mixed
with gunpowder in rage,
we must never forget
the cotton which was stained
by the blood of our ancestors,
let it not be in vain.

And though things have changed,
though one color is no longer chained
people are still covered in steal,
around their wrists or in their bloodstream,
those wounds that will never heal

their bodies may wither, but their soul will live forever.

And I'm a product of a future that is possible
half black, half white, I'm a puzzle, the perfect domino
in a limbo, I feel both the priviledge and defeat,
and I don't understand how skin can define
whether your future will look promising or bleak.

Let us all put our hands up
and let go of the mistrust.

And let no man ever again lie
face down in the dust
because of men we all should trust,
while we record it on our phones in disgust
afraid to call out unjust,

we need this to stop.



We can't let a man lie underneath
those men's feet and be beat,
and have those men decided his faith,
because they're carrying the badges,
have them decide that he should only be remembered

by the words "I can't breathe"