So much discussion,
About what? A clown.
Maybe if they had just stayed in their lane,
Providing awesome fitness programming
To everyone,
But no, grandpa had to go and show his ass
Dissing the most important social events
Currently engulfing the world
By making light of the pandemic and protests
Over the brutality put on black lives.

How did that happen?

Not that an ignorant person would say something,
Well, ignorant,
But that we are discussing it like the fitness org
Is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Hey, I’ve got nothing but respect for the fitness,
People do amazing things there,
They defy their odds and find a community,
But the corporation has lost sight of the mission,
The money has corrupted the effort,
His power warped his judgment.

And still I wonder, why are we talking about this?

We shouldn’t be,
The clown would have thrown up a long time ago
If it had endured the beatings from police.
Rhabdo would have set in had it seen the beatings
So many black people have endured by ignorant policing.
No, I don’t think we should be writing or talking about fitness companies,
I think we should be talking about people,
How they learn to hate,
How they can learn to be tolerant,
How they need to join the rest of society and stop flipping,
Kipping, or being sarcastic about everything.

Starting with their race baiting words…

Note: The people who are entrusted to make and enforce the laws need to do something to change the “policing” in our country. People are done with the do nothing rhetoric, the “promises” of better training, and the tone deaf tweets. I hope this poem comes across as a criticism of the way things are and my hope that our “policing,” can be done without the kind of results we are seeing far too frequently.

I ignored some signs today,
Went running in a parking lot
Where I wasn’t allowed
Since I’m not an employee,
But I figured with nine problem free weeks of running there
Nobody would care
Since it didn’t look like anybody was working.

I made my loop,
With about a track’s lap left in my dash
A car pulled up beside me
To let me know I was trespassing,
That I had better leave.
The car pulled behind me
And did a good job of making me uncomfortable.

I deserved it, there’s no rationalizing my decision,
But with security up my butt
And the way I’m feeling about “authority” after Mr. Floyd’s death,
I could feel my defiance, a trait I don’t carry well, rising.
I wasn’t interested in this guy or his stupid rule
And the closer he pushed, the more angry I felt.
Really, though, what standing do I have on this issue?

On the scale of injustice, this was nothing,
A big fat nothing,
But I had a moment where I was thinking, this is BS,
Not for me,
But for anyone who fears the police,
Overly excited security guards, or clueless politicians,
Because of the color of their skin.

I won’t run there again, avoiding the issue, essentially out of sight.
I worry that everyone doesn’t have that luxury, the luxury of steering clear.
How clearly do we have to communicate that to the cops,
Security guards, presidents, white women walking dogs in parks?

Too often, I fear.

For no other reason than summer is coming,
I tapped into my reggae receptors today,
Peter Tosh, he seemed perfect,
A little edge, a little more confrontational,
Less happy sounding than Bob or Gregory.

“Get Up Stand Up” jumped through the speakers
And instead of thinking about Williamburg circa ’87
Or Charlottesville circa ’85,
Or any summer since,
All I could think about today was America.

WTF, it’s so hard to be proud
When the law always wins and we always lose,
If you stand up, they knock you back down
With no fear of being stopped by their fellow cops,
Prosecutors, or judges.

WTF, it’s so hard to understand,
How protesting with rules and responsibility
Can escalate to looting, free stuff being palmy and all
Except for the price it puts on areas already struggling and
Where victory is worth more than ill-gotten sneaks.

WTF, who are these agitators, trolling the streets,
The web, the social media platforms
Always looking to instigate, always starting trouble
From the shadows, seeding confusion,
Profiting on devolving discourse.

WTF, this attack on decency,
Who benefits by assailing anger across all classes?
Who stands to gain by all of this violence?
Those in the crevices, the cracks,
The places where the manipulators survive.

It’s reggae time, so WTF America,
Get up and get your act together,
Stop hating on each other, po-po figure out “serve and protect,”
People protest smarter and stop falling for the message
Of those seeking to make it all worse.