1 Race, 2 Perspectives

Slavery’s abolished!
We scream with a flourish.
Everyone under the sun,
Is now as free as every other one.
All of that shit we once believed, is now in the past.
We kinda knew deep in our hearts, it wasn’t going to last.
Now, everybody’s equal! We even wrote it down.
Yes, everyone is equal; yellow, black or brown.
Interracial marriages? Sure, we don’t even care.
Seek your fame and fortune; be a millionaire.
Be a business owner. Be a movie star.
You can live “the good life” with champagne and caviar.
Celebrate our way of life, it’s much better than the rest.
Aren’t you proud of all we’ve done? How much we have progressed?

No! You’re wrong! Mistaken! We’ve not really been set free!
All that shit’s still happening, in actuality.
Physical chains have been removed but bound we still remain
You may argue otherwise, but it’s a trick of legerdemain.
The systems that govern us all are skewed to lighter skin.
When we point out inequity, it’s like a deadly sin.
Someone has to prove your guilt, my innocence always questioned.
Just my colour is enough to get arrested for possession.
I must work twice as hard as you, to qualify for the same loan.
You say you don’t see colour, but you still act monotone.
If we point out inequality, you scream that ALL LIVES MATTER
In your race we’ve always been held back, our lives left torn and tattered.
We will not sing capitalisms’ praise, that’s not the freedom that we crave,
The chain may not be around our necks, but we know that we’re still slaves.

Brian Sankarsingh is an accidental poet who, for many years, was standoffishly embroiled in social and political commentary; and who has now decided to maddeningly scream his message from whatever rooftop he can find. You can reach him at: author@rogers.com. Read other articles by Brian.