This is my attempt for you to understand
what it is like to be a black man.
This country and world that sees a criminal,
and sees my future as nothing but minimal.
Allow me to paint you a visual
about how what remains is residual.
Our families fear answering the phone
to find out that their loved one won’t come home.
Whether you’re a teen or someone that’s grown,
no one is safe; that’s clearly shown.
Police put another one of us down.
If you say, “All Lives Matter,” you are a clown.
You know that’s not what we said,
as we put another in the underground bed.
Looked upon as if we are creatures
because you fear our dominant physical features.
A police description that is so broad
that half the time the charges are fraud.
We are the original goddesses and gods.
I am not dangerous because my name is Rashaad.
Why is that the cop always gets off?
Yet, you have the nerve always scoff.
We’ve always talked about the brutality.
Being lucky means it won’t end in fatality.
I know it conflicts with your false reality,
but black people can have congeniality.
Some may be shocked by the statement
that black men can have an education.
Forced Exodus from our nation,
subject to disproportionate incarceration.
Explain to me why we get more time
for doing the exact same crimes.
If you have a gun, you’re dead on site.
But, you get talked down if you are white.
A target on my back because of my skin.
Great job associating black with sin.
It’s more likely for us to get denied a loan
so, it’s harder for us to move to better homes.
You prop up both artists and athletes
as if it’s the only way off the streets.
A great effort for systematic obliteration.
We are the only ones without reparations.
Japanese people got them from those 4 years.
Try 400 of blood, sweat, and tears.
Try living in perpetual fears.
And something else that’s just so weird.
I cannot begin to understand the absurdity.
It didn’t occur to you, but it occurred to me.
Not treated in the way we deserved to be.
You’re looking in the mirror when you refer to me.
You make it harder for us to get a job
because the name on the resume wasn’t Bob.
Stuck at a job of minimum wage
because you decided not to read the page.
It’s just a black man’s coming of age
to have a higher chance of being put in a cage.
Slavery, Jim Crow, Segregation, we’re inhibited.
Doing everything to make blacks limited.
It’s not simply wealth and power that gives you your privilege.
It’s also that no one has distorted your image.