Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

    I Wasn’t There

    Original poem by Angela Scott

    This poem is in response to the shootings in Ferguson, Fruitvale, Florida and all around the nation where police are snuffing out brown and black lives that matter.

    I wasn’t there
    but I could feel each bullet
    scarring tissue
    each fist 
    bruising and breaking skin
    tearing through bone and marrow
    stopping beats and pulses
    taking life after life

    I wasn’t there
    but I could see him 
    raising his hands in surrender
    hands cuffed behind his back
    holding candy and a drink
    mind of a small child
    running away for his life
    heads bowed and kneeling
    laying on the curb, on bellies
    this child, this man
    hoping that 
    this cop, with this gun
    would not fear him
    with no gun, armed only with the color of skin
    and yes 
    apparently this is a deadly weapon

    i wasn’t there
    but i know why 
    they did not bother 
    to cover the still bodies that lay
    slain in the street
    while their hands are forever bloodied 
    this is nothing new
    these cruel intentions
    not even bothering to cover up
    something so shameful
    so we will do what you want
    and not forget

    i wasnt there
    but i could feel the warmth
    of those banning together
    holding fast
    staying strong
    rising up 
    against something so wrong
    something thats gone on too long
    something that can no longer be justified
    something that can no longer be quieted down
    when something like 108 black men and boys
    were gunned down by police in the month of august alone

    i wasnt there for that but 
    i hope you can feel my disgust
    i hope you can feel my anger
    when i hear you deny that there is infact a problem
    but white boys or white men are not dying in similar fashion
    but black men and brown boys are
    i hope you can at least 
    feel what we have felt even though some might be 
    on the other side of the color line
    and even those on this side
    who wait for the quiet and the stillness
    that come after
    after the media has left
    and after the crowds disburse
    and the tension loosens
    and after when you turn on the television and are not reminded, constantly
    i assure you 
    it will not change
    how long must we wait to be 
    surprised when this happens again?
    when we hear of another town 
    in another state
    where another child
    with hands up 
    head down
    knees bowed
    colored face 
    is murdered
    while we pretend to be mad
    without action
    contradicting everything 
    We should all be upset
    in all shades
    i wasn’t there, but i am here now


    About the Contributor
    In the fall of 2019, The Laney Tower rebranded as The Citizen and launched a new website. These stories were ported over from the old Laney Tower website, but byline metadata was lost in the port. However, many of these stories credit the authors in the text of the story. Some articles may also suffer from formatting issues. Future archival efforts may fix these issues.  
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