I can’t say that it wouldn’t happen to him
I can’t say that it shouldn’t have happened to him
I can’t say that I raised him better
I can’t say that he was defending himself
I can’t say that he was just reaching for his wallet
I can’t say that he’s a good husband or a good father
Or a good son or a good brother
I can’t say that he meant no harm
Because they’ll say but what about that time in college
Or what about that time that he fought in high school
Or what about how he talks back some time at school
Or what about that he likes a nice whiskey, neat sometimes
Or what about he likes his pants a little baggy and his shirts a little loose
I can’t say that they were wrong
Or that he was targeted
Or that it’s because he’s black
Or that I’ve cried and prayed for years that he’d be okay
Because every time I’ve tried to talk about it
Text about it
Blog about it
Kneel about it
Sing about it
March about it
I was told I was too loud.
To quiet my voice.
To find another way.
And so I stopped saying anything.
And the fear turned to rage and bitterness.
And when they asked me what I had to say I said the same thing they’ve always said.