You wanna know why I loot?
Smash windows with bricks & sticks?
What you see when a building is ablaze is not what I see.
You see a savage.
A stupid nigga tearing up his own neighborhood.
You see an animal.
Greedy for goods I can’t afford.
You see an ignorant ape.
Hurting innocent people who own businesses in my neighborhood.
People who “didn’t do anything” to me,
so why hurt them?
You are right.
They didn’t do anything.
You didn’t do anything.
Answer me this…
Why didn’t you speak up for me
when that White man got my promotion?
Why didn’t you stand up for me
when you found out you were paid more than me
for doing the same job?
Why didn’t you come to my defense
when you watched, from the safety of your store,
the cops beat me with billy clubs
right in front of your business?
You were minding your business, right?
I see you.
I know who you are.
Your name is coward.
For generations you have set up shop
in my neighborhood
while looking down at me.
As long as I kept buying
You were FINE with the police killing me.
Terrorizing my little sister until she peed on herself.
Intimating my uncle by pulling a gun on him in broad daylight
right in front of your store.
You never spoke up.
You never made friends with me.
You never gave a fuck about me.
See, what you call vandalism,
I call my voice FINALLY getting heard.
What you call violent acts of property damage,
I call standing up for myself.
A building can be rebuilt.
A store can be restocked.
A window can be repaired.
A black life stolen by four Police Officers can not be
Not with a cop’s knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 42 seconds.
There is no insurance coverage for the pain for a childless mother.
What you call property damage I call visibility.
You didn’t see me when I was toeing the line.
You didn’t listen me when I took a knee.
You didn’t care when unarmed Black Man, after Black Man, after Black Man were murdered by police.
You went right on.
You turned your head.
Business as usual.
Right in my neighborhood.
I was “stupid nigga” money to you.
I see you.
I know your name.
Now you know mine.
Title: Loot & Burn
By. Dr. Venus Opal Reese