Protests 2020, a freestyle by Brandon CL Hope

I write this rhyme to tell the times
no better life than living white,
but somehow we supply the white,
that’s why our mommas cry at night…
yet we can’t reap the benefits
cause our skin is darker pigmented
america, ameri-can’t, ameri-kkk again.

They got drums on k’s its evident that they want us off their premises
but I’m trippin cause we built this
and it might sound like ignorance
but violence brings us peace again,
destruction builds us all back up,
and darkness let’s our light shine from
the bottom of the bottom to the highest of the high.
You’re going to recognize that we’re alive and all are here to thrive.
Gangbangin’ to the left and gangbangin’ to the right
we meet up in the middle and bang at 12 on sight,
out here on the block at 12 O’Clock at night
an hour past the curfew on front lines ready to fight
trippin and stumbling your brother’s face is bleeding,
but don’t let it deter you cause were out here for a reason.

What’s good for you is good for me,
good for the goose good for the gander
400 years of being peaceful forced me to grab the blammer
forced me to be the bad guy
in society’s eyes.

Tear gas all in our eyes,
used to tears in our lives
no stranger to the struggle,
you hate me but I love you,
wanna kill me, wanna hug you,
can’t you see that I’m not trouble?
But somehow, some way, you’re blinded by my face.

You built it in your mind that criminal is our race –
but that’s just not the case and one day you will get it
whether you end up dead or whether your still living
your sins have been forgiven.
But sin once again and mercy is straight fiction.
Mercy is not given –
just like respect its earned
no more use for mercy you’ve used your last turn.
You’ve burned your last bridge,
murdered your last black man,
scared your last kid,
let’s live and let live.

Less graves we will dig,
witness a civil war if righteousness don’t win.
If justice won’t prevail,
unleash our passionate rage and give them hell,
unleash the pain of ones before you,
‘I can’t breathe,’ ‘hands up, do not shoot.’
Who’s next? Me? It might just be you.

George Floyd, bam world, Trayvon, too,
injustice in the streets,
injustice in the schools,
injustice in the prisons,
injustice stands true.

I’m tired of losing breath, man, I’m tired of the chatter
long story short, fam,
BLACK LIVES MATTER!

Brandon C. L. Hope Contributing Writer | Hampton, Virginia #1842318

2020: The Seed of Freedom

The halfway point has arrived, establishing this year as the tilling: the cracking of the ground and ingrained systemic racism – granting some air to the fertile soil of change that has desperately been fighting for breath.

A pandemic – resembling a biblical pestilence; and protest – resembling a spiritual famine… what is this? The exodus? Who knows what powers are at work. But what is known (and is clear) are the frustrations baring down on the souls of the free… and now those souls seek the surface…

The pandemic has given time to those who were too engulfed in their own daily struggles to see the lifetime national collective struggle of our country and our world. Protests, like the pandemic, have reached beyond seas and touch minds and hearts of blacks, whites, and all colors of multiple nationalities that believe in the ideals of equality and freedom perpetuated and woefully being contradicted by our country. Those contradictions stand to tear the free world apart. But ever-resilient is the spirit of mankind, and even more pervasive is the spirit of freedom that drives man to fight.

To fight from chains onto an identity.
To fight from poverty onto prosperity.

We must not forget, injustice festers in a state of complacency. Forever vigilant, is the eye of the one who fights for freedom. The energy for the movement towards true change is robust, but momentous. We cannot allow the visions of truth and justice to flee once this one ceiling gives way. And when I say we, I say ALL who believe, faithfully, that justice and equality are more substantial than empty undertones hinting to a state unattainable by the human family.

Some people profess: “well if the pandemic didn’t hit, then this wouldn’t be as intense,” or “If we had a different president, we wouldn’t be going through this.” All could be true. Even so, I myself believe that even when others like to disregard it in these tragic times, everything happens for a reason. Even the struggling is purposeful. Us, as a nation having to endure Trump, having to suffer through coronavirus, and the tragic loss of George Floyd, each egregious event holds its stake in the change to come.

I spoke with my mother one day and expressed my depression, seeing the early stage of the protests turning violent. My mother thought I was depressed because the people were violent. I told her it wasn’t that the people were violent, it was because the people they felt HAD to be violent in order to be heard… that tension over what is clearly a mistreatment of human rights was ignored to the point of explosion… My mother then reminded me that ‘change takes time, and the more monumental the change, the more time it it’ll take…’ She said her grandmother was a slave, her mother lived through civil rights, and she endured the social injustices of the 70’s. Now, our generation, and its youth, masses of whites, blacks, Asians; the modern make of America, take to the streets to push even harder towards equality’s inevitable fruition.

The seed of freedom has been sown in every lasts one of us.

Even in their most hopeless conditions, our ancestors nurtured that seed for generations, and for the generations to come. Now, that seed has pushed beyond the dirt. It has pushed beyond the unknown and hypothetical. To greet and take in the sun and its light… to take in its truth.

We NOW know. The idea of freedom and equality are no longer ambiguous or relegated to some seemingly special privileged class of people. No. It is known now that freedom is an inalienable right of every one human being ingrained in the soil of all who are blessed to take part in the life. So no, I am not distraught by the fighting. Because those who fight, are fighting for what is theirs…

May the souls of every person be aflame with the fires of freedom.

May every tear and drop of blood not be in vain, nor let the blood cool over illusions of freedom.

Continue to fight with every bit of your life, because the world of tomorrow is authored by the heroes of today…

Forever my love and strength to the movement,
Q. Patterson

Cover Photo from B.L. Patterson, Q’s brother