Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Undocumented poem #3: A Response to this Photo

From Media Matters for America:

"Addressing the unfolding story of an unarmed, 17-year-old Florida teen recently killed by a neighborhood watch activist who has not been charged with a crime, Fox News host Jon Scott recently wondered out loud whether the Trayvon Martin case really deserved the national media attention it was receiving. While Fox colleague Jim Pinkerton explained that the coverage stemmed from the fact that the press is "always interested in the cute child that gets murdered" and the "black victim of racism," Scott's query captured the larger Fox News feeling about the mushrooming Martin report, which was to view the story with a mixture of uncertainty and bafflement.  

Those wholesale attacks on Martin, sadly reminiscent of the right-wing media's sex-based assaults on Sandra Fluke's reputation, have revolved around loaded innuendos about the boy's past, posting bogus photos of him online, retrieving tweets from the slain teenager's closed Twitter account, and pretending the Martin story revolves around a small band of irrelevant New Black Panther Party members. (That's been the Daily Caller specialty.)

Just look at  Breitbart blogger Dan Riehl who over the weekend posted a foolish and offensive piece that claimed a photo of Martin widely used by the press has been "altered" and lightened to make him appear less threatening.  (It hadn't been altered.)

Still, Michelle Malkin's new site Twitchy followed the misguided lead and also posted the same Facebook picture, suggesting the press had been hiding it because it made Martin look more menacing.

Malkin's site was then forced to post a correction and apology [for this photo]:” 

The Poem:

Lagston Hughes’ Scottsboro Poems, today, still so sadly haunting and relevant:


That justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we blacks are wise:
Her bandages hide two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes. 

The Town of Scottsboro

Scottsboro’s just a little place:
No shame is write across its face—
Its courts too weak to stand against a mob,
Its people’s heart, too small to hold a sob.

Christ in Alabama

Christ is a nigger,
Beaten and black:
Oh, bare your back!

Mary is His mother:
Mammy of the South,
Silence your mouth.

God is His father:
White Master above
Grant Him your love.

Most holy bastard
Of the bleeding mouth,
    Nigger Christ
    On the cross
    Of the South.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Undocumented Poem #2: In Reponse to this Video:

The Video:

The poem:

4/28/10 (By
Christy Namee Eriksen)

An illegal immigrant
looks like a nickel
tails up
on the sidewalk,
fallen out of someone’s pocket.
She looks like pressed bleached sheets
on cheap beds
tucked tight,
a hundred of them
twelve stories high.
I saw one like a mango,
peeled and sprinkled with chili powder
on a stick like america,
layers cut diagonally,
a flower on Lake Street.
She looks like an amethyst grape
plucked by the millions,
stains like bruises
but she’s sorry and she loves you.
He looks like that kid
I don’t know his name
but he sits over
and his lunch stinks.
She looks like a street of Harajuku,
straight cut bang and bangles,
heavy print and bright colors
-oh my bad -
that’s Gwen Stefani!
(She might be legal.)
An illegal immigrant looks like
Chinese Exclusion 1882
Asian Exclusion 1924
Executive Order 9066
Patriot Act 2001
SB1070 five days ago
looks like an angel made of bunk beds and cells
where Chinese men write poems into the wooden wall like it could weather the wait,
looks like a store sign
in 1922
“Absolutely no dogs or Filipinos allowed”,
like 1942 spam
rolled up like an enemy
internment camp sushi.
He is a community tree in the 1930s.
Or the 1940s or the 1960s
who has seen
dead people
to climb on.
He is a boat
in 1492
sailing the ocean blue
He looks like a hill
made of bodies
covered in grass
and a playground,
like a scar
on the bottom of my feet,
still growing.
He looks like
Joseph Ileto who looked like Vincent Chin who looked like Fong Lee who looked like
your neighborhood postman, like a good husband, like a boy on a
maddening threatening five deviled bicycle,
looked like a good target, like a bad seed, like the wrong crowd, like a jap mother f**ker who stole “our” jobs,
so one by one by a hundred they
killed them
Because if you look
like the law
you look
And the rest of us are just wire cages
and a magic trick away
from knowing whose turn it is
to be the sacrificial pigeon
and it’s showtime,
all the time,
so you need to know the difference.