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My country doesn’t love me because I’m Black. Why?

Why must I turn on the news to see yet another “police kill unarmed Black person” headline? Why must it be on video to demand outrage? Why the hell is this happening again?

Why do we have to sit young ones down for another version of “the talk?” Again, another generation of beautiful Black children learning how not to get killed by police. Meanwhile, their white counterparts play a painfully ironic game of cops and robbers at the playground.

Why do we have to add another name to an ever-growing list of hashtags? A name that unfortunately may be forgotten as we continue to add to the list of Black people who are unjustly murdered.

Why do my brothers and sisters still live in fear? Why do they have to wonder whether they’ll be next?

Why is there another petition to sign? Another protest to attend? Why are we still screaming for justice?

Can anybody hear us?

Why can’t we protest this way? Why can’t we speak out that way? Tell us what works for you, America. We’ll do anything.

Why does it feel like we have done everything? Maybe we have. Why does it feel like nothing has worked? Maybe it hasn’t.

Why are you still silencing us? Where’s our seat at the table? We made the damn table. AND we set it. When will we get the invite to join?

Why are our blood, sweat, and tears not enough?

Why is our blood on the hands of the country we call our home? Why doesn’t that country protect us the way that we have vowed to protect it? Why does my country demand so much respect from me and return not even an ounce of compassion?

Why do I not feel at home in the only home I’ve ever known? Why do I continue to give so much to this home with nothing in return?

Why are we still hurting? Why are we still crying? When does the mourning stop?

Why are we reliving the pain of our past generations? A pain they hoped we’d never have to feel. A pain they fought to eradicate from the world.

Why does my Blackness offend you so much? Damn, does my Blackness offend ME that much?

What if I try to change? Be more like them? Walk like them. Talk like them. Embrace their whiteness?

Nah, it still doesn’t work.

Why did you lie to us? Why did you sell us a bogus dream? You told me we solved all this racism shit so long ago. Why are we still seeing it daily? Scratch that. FEELING IT DAILY.

Why do you want me to shut up and dribble? Or dance around on stage for your entertainment? Why don’t you value my mind?

Why are you afraid of me?

Why do you misunderstand me?

Why do you marginalize me?

Why do you keep me down? Why aren’t you lifting me up?

Why do you not value me?

Why the fuck do you not love me, America? Why doesn’t our country love us?