Step 1. Show up on Inauguration Night
Leave your pretensions at home this time,
you will not be saving anyone here.
There is a surge of black-clad bodies that will quickly take your stubborn
Berniecrat and I’m With Her shirts out of fashion.
You have a bleeding heart
pinned to your sleeve by a safety pin
Huffington Post told you to wear it
Your well-meaning aunt told you,
with the force of a whole rich neighborhood association’s facebook group behind her, that this
tiny piece of metal
will save the poor and wretched
welcome them to your teeming shore —
Don’t get caught up in pretensions.
Step 2. When you see notorious white supremacist Richard Spencer being interviewed by the news,
make sure your safety pin is visible.
Wait for a poor, victimized Person of Color to approach you for help.
You’ll grow so tired
of waiting for an opportunity to show off your allyship you might learn something.
Step 3. Here is the hard part
While Richard Spencer is talking about the Pepe the Frog pin on his lapel
will be interviewed by a fist instead.
He, all bigotry, hair gel, and bloated pride
stumbles from the well-placed blow, lands on the concrete a couple yards away
Suddenly, the assailant’s fist is Lady Liberty’s torch, blazing a trail for us to march on.
we are all the fist
humiliating white supremacy at its own inauguration.
In the universe of this small victory,
no one is president.
No cop tear gasses a restaurant without resistance
bleeds from biting its own eager tongue again.
Someone punches Richard Spencer and hope blooms a tangible thing in me.
Hundreds of miles away
I breathe just a little easier>
so before you yell,
“just sign a change.org petition!”
Think of how long we have been waiting.
How you say,
“we’ll survive these four years”
as if we
have not been trying to survive for centuries.
Think of you love watching us swallow when we want to spit.
Pressure hosing a panther and reprimanding her when she bites.
Think of how you pulled the nine inch knife out six inches, stared at the wound, and called the bleeding progress.
Think of where you were
when an islamophobe tore off her hijab on the bus,
and you did not do anything.
Think of the community centers that shook with death threats
did not do anything
Think of the cops that gunned a black kid
into memory and you
I will not come to you for help.
Take off the safety pin.
Know that fascism does not arrive with a name tag,it arrives as your friend.
It arrives as Richard Spencer, well-manicured and well-behaved, speaking poison into cameras spinning it acceptable.
Do not allow this by any means necessary
Leave your pretensions at home.