Category Archives: Racism

Dear Leaders – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Grace at dVerse is hosting Meeting the Bar, and the theme we are invited to write about is Protest. dVerse Poets – Meeting the Bar – Protest Poetry

Photo: ocjndaily.com Ocean City, New Jersey, a protest in response to the murder of George Floyd.

“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” Elie Wiesel

Dear Leaders

There is no life in you,
you who are nothing more
than a husk blowing in the 
winds of rebellion,
I see your guns and gas
uniformed in fear of decency as
you sneer at the sensitivities of
ordinary people concerned for
some semblance of democracy
midst the pious, honeyed corruption
you pedal to steal the dreams of
our children as you piss in our waters
and foul our fields with your 
poisonous rhetoric so religiously
flavoured as to make God vomit,
while you continue to kill your 
own as if blood stains down your
highways is some note of triumph
for the totems you bend to in your 
spineless dereliction of humanity.
You can kill my body but you will
never kill my enduring spirit that
is me, we, together naming your
legacy of fetid lies and murder,
and we will make a road of integrity
to pass right over you without 
memorial or reward save for some
flowers to mark the hollow graves
that you are.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

40 Comments

Filed under community, Economics, Free Verse, injustice, justice, life, philosophy, poem, politics, poverty, protest, quote, Racism

Yet You Are Blind – poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: http://www.pedestrian.tv Photo shows indigenous Australians as prisoners, shackled at Roebourn gaol, 1896. Today the rate of indigenous incarceration is high at %29 of the total prison population. There is little sign of that changing, not any change in the underlying and predisposing issue of poverty and inequality.

“Racism is a disease in society. We’re all equal. I don’t care what their colour is, or religion. Just as long as they’re human beings they’re my buddies.” Mandawy Yunupingu

Yet You Are Blind

You can see clearly
yet you are blind to
the plight of your neighbour,
stealing their humanity for the
price of their lives which paid for 
the privilege of your wilful ignorance,
paved in the blood of their dignity,
bargained for the murderous dogma
prosecuted in the name of your right
to smile on suffering and misery
as you squash their lives for the turn 
of a dollar and smug satisfaction of
the exercise of your power.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

41 Comments

Filed under community, identity, Indigenous, life, poem, quote, Racism

Rising – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly Challenge – Pace

Photo: theguardian.com The statue of the slave trader Edward Colston (1636 – 1721) comes down, his company was responsible for the capture, transport and sale of 100,000 slaves in the Caribbean and the Americas. Colston made his fortune from slave trading, and, not-with-standing that he later became a philanthropist, his wealth and life flourished by the misery of others. I my view, people who profit from the misery of others do not deserve any public recognition or honour.

“I know the removal of the Colston statue will divide opinion, as the statue itself has done for many years. However it’s important to listen to those who found the statue an affront to humanity.” Marvin Rees (Mayor of Bristol)

Rising

The statues of subjugation crash
to the ground of the past,
we're loving a new now,
the beginning of future dreams,
free-ranged, unwrapped,
letting go Aquarius' aged darkness,
rising to unison of heart,
pace the whispers of worm tongues
who would hold oppression lightly,
but whose account is well due.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: I have used pace in preposition form, expressing disagreement with worm tongues with those who support enslavement of any kind.

32 Comments

Filed under challenge, Free Verse, history, injustice, life, poem, quote, Racism

It Begins With Me – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Word of the Day – Begin

Photo: abc.net.au BLM protest in Adelaide, June 6.

“Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and to destroy. It is the enemy of freedom ….” Pierre Berton

It Begins With Me

We know the system is malignant,
a menancing metastases whose
symptoms are poverty and despair
matched to a greyscale of colour,
imprisoned in anger that rails
agasinst the enormity of the evil
that presses in on every side,
and yet, the scaqle of it all
is not beyond us,
just a shift in thinking,
a step forward,
a word said right,
it begins with me.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

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Filed under Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, politics, quote, Racism

To Breathe – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: George Floyd – New York Times

dVerse Poets – Open Link Night

Grace at dVerse is hosting Open Link Night where we post a poem of our own choice. My choice has been influenced by the poems Grace posted as a reflection on the protests and Floyd’s death. So, I’m reblogging an earlier OLN poem about George Floyd that I wrote in the moment of grief having watched the video of his murder. Still can’t get it out of my mind, can’t erase the anger I feel of the injustice to him, and sadly, for so many.

"I can't breathe." George Floyd

To Breathe

The tissue of life is delicately thin,
especially when the protectors grin,
arraigned with a knee and
pinned to the ground,
he couldn't breathe;
no judge, no jury,
they refused his cry,
the man needed air,
he was guilty without sin, 
they murdered George Floyd
with a dirty white lie, and
since the moment he stopped,
I have struggled to breathe.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

42 Comments

Filed under death, Free Verse, grief, life, poem, quote, Racism

Whiteousness – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

VJs Weekly challenge – Privilege

Photo: Professor Steve Locke detained on the street because he looked like someone the police wanted in relation to an attempted break-in. Steve Locke – “I Fit The Description”

“The police make me as a white woman feel safe, while my black friends, family and neighbours feel the opposite.” Natalie Portman.

Whiteousness 

Blue and red like a vapour 
flashes off the windows
all around me,
siren squeals a warning and
I pull over to the side,
my routine, rehearsed so often,
plays out in tension real,
window down,
no sudden moves,
papers and cards out,
both hands on the wheel so
he can see there's no threat,
sweating now, anxious,
is my misdemeanour worth my life,
will I bleed for colour today
to make this man feel righteous?
Do I fit the profile,
do I look like someone he
needs, wants, to shoot?
Don't stare,
sound soft, polite,
don't be black,
ingratiate,
just make it easy on his ego,
right or wrong,
his mood determines my future,
Right or wrong,
his privilege is my death.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

31 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, quote, Racism

The Art Of Bludgeoning – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: forbes.com A seventy-five year old man was shoved to the ground, causing serious injury, the two officers have been stood down pending investigation. This must end.

RDP Friday – Protest

"We're not anti-police ... we're anti-police brutality."  Al Sharpton

The Art Of Bludgeoning 

We can't have peace,
take an oath,
take a badge,
now go,
be brave,
bludgeon that 
man,
woman,
child,
until their blood
redeems the views
of the marionette's
twisted predations,
laid bare on the 
altar of lies,
such is the denial
of protest.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

28 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, quote, Racism, Uncategorized

I have No Words – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: gettyimages.com

https://onewomansquest.org/2020/06/01/vjs-weekly-challenge-98- no-words/

"Racism is all over the world but justice is nowhere."  Areena Nadeem

I Have No Words

Decades of days have passed
whose shadows have lenghtened
like a pall on a coffin
in a dimly lit chapel
awaiting a prayer of light
to reveal the edifice collapsed,
the facade of politeness exposed
in every corner of a smug world,
where power is bound in abstraction,
whose currency is hatred,
whose anthems divide,
whose flags are merely shrouds
of deadly propaganda
laying waste to minds,
what has happened to humanity?
It is impossible to speak of it,
I have no words.

©Paul Vincent Cannon

54 Comments

Filed under Free Verse, life, poem, Racism, Uncategorized

What Is The Colour Of Guilt? – a poem by Paul Vincent Cannon

Photo: time.com


"There comes a time when silence is betrayal."  Martin Luther King Jr.

What Is The Colour Of Guilt?

We thought he had a gun,
she was in the way,
he walked towards me,
she was similar to the picture,
he was eratic,
he was suspicious,
she reached into her handbag
he was filming me,
she was unwell,
he looked like a perp,
he was known,
he argued,
the neighbour said,
we didn't know it was a phone,
he crashed his car,
there was a phone call,
O, it was a toy gun,
He shot himself while handcuffed,
he was running,
he was asleep but he was armed,
he was in the shop,
He was high,
she was arguing,
there were drugs,
he laughed,
O, he was in his own yard,
mistaken identity,
he was helping police,
he looked at me,
he was mentally ill,
she was homeless,
unpaid fines,
the white man said,
the white woman said,
he was black,
she was balck,
a counterfeit twenty dollar note,
8.46,
a cheap life
when you stand in blue
above the law you uphold,
you can make up a story
to make their innocence 
suit your crime,
what is the colour of guilt?

©Paul Vincent Cannon

Note: To say that Black Lives Matter is not to diminsh other lives, especially Indigenous lives, but they simply make the point about injustice. Statistics don't actually bear out the injustice until you look deeply at the cases - unarmed, ill, mistaken identity, and many innocent people. 

Paul, pvcann.com

27 Comments

Filed under community, death, Free Verse, injustice, life, poem, politics, quote, Racism