When it gets to this point

by Wopashitwe Mondo Eyen we Langa

Danny-Glover-Mondo-we-Langa-213x300, When it gets to this point, Culture Currents
Danny Glover, visiting Mondo we Langa, is one of many celebrity supporters of Mondo and his comrade Ed Poindexter. These Black Panthers have been locked up on charges they deny based on virtually no evidence for more than 40 years.

Michael Brown?
I had never heard of him
had never heard anything he’d done
before the news of his death came
whoever he might have become
whatever he might have achieved
had he lived longer
not been riddled lifeless by
bullets from Darren Wilson’s gun
and crumpled on the pavement of a Ferguson street
for more than four hours in
the heat of that August day
and before
I’d never heard of Trayvon Martin
had known nothing of who he was
until I learned of his demise
and cause of death
a bullet to the chest
George Zimmerman, the shooter
a badge-less, pretend police
with a pistol
and fear of the darkness
Trayvon’s darkness
and after a while
the pictures, the names,
the circumstances
run together
like so much colored laundry in the wash
that bleeds on whites

Was it Eric Garner or Tamir Rice
who was 12 but seen as 10
Hulk Hogan or The Hulk
with demonic eyes it was said
who shrank the cop in Ferguson
into a 5-year-old who
had to shoot
just had to shoot
and John Crawford the third
in a Walmart store aisle
an air rifle in his hands he’d picked up
from the shelf
and held in the open
in an open-carry state
was it John or someone else
killed supposedly by mistake
in a dark stairwell
I know Akai Gurley fell
I hadn’t heard of him before
nor of Amadou Diallo or Sean Bell
prior to their killings
which of these two took slugs in the greater number
I don’t recall
my memory is too encumbered
with the names
of so many more before and since

the frequent news reports of
non-arrests, non-indictments,
non-true bills
and duplicitous presentations by “experts in the field”
the consultants put out front
to explain away
that which is so often plain as day
to coax and convince us that we’re the ones
who can’t see straight and
can’t hear clearly
who are the ones replacing facts with spin
to mislead and mystify
as the beatings and the chokings and shootings
of our boys and men
by these wrong arms of the law
proceed in orderly fashion
before the sometimes sad
sometimes angry faces of
our uncertain
our hesitant

Mondo we Langa, 27768, P.O. Box 2500, Lincoln NE 68542, is a Black Panther political prisoner, imprisoned over 40 years. This poem was recorded at Prison Radio.