Renisha

Renisha
(This poem is dedicated to Renisha McBride, a Detroit teenager who was murdered by a man who is using the defense of “Stand Your Ground”.)

He embodies a product of lies
He is a disciple of discrimination
He epitomizes the epidemic of racial unease
That is infecting the national population

But his name is irrelevant

The point is not
Who did what
The assailant should never be
Immortalized

The point, if you forgot
Is her side
What she would’ve seen
Through her eyes

Renisha

Rest in peace, and
Rest assured
You have not died in vain

Your martyrdom was established
When the blood from your veins
Spilled like red rain
On that Dearborn Heights porch

Of course, no amount of remorse
Will bring proper recourse, cuz

One thing
That needs to be realized
Is that there is only one
Renisha McBride

Only one little girl who
Made her daddy cry
Made her mama die inside
Made her sisters ask

“Why?
Why was she seen
Through that front door screen
As a criminal, a robber, a thief
When help was her only need?”

He disregarded your life
Like a drug dealer would
For that of a common crack fiend’s

And you were only nineteen

It was already enough
That your auto accident occurred
A mile away

November 2 was just not your day

All you were trying to find
Was a place to stay
Until the dizziness, the pain
Did not become a source of shame

And if the blood alcohol level wasn’t to blame
You committed a DWB
“Driving While Black” ain’t officially a crime, but
If it were, you would've been
Doing the time

These are all logical fallacies of the mind
Hasty generalizations
And as a result, this generation
Has seen the rise
Of specific stereotypes:

Renisha, you’re not a gang leader
You’re not a run-of-the-mill preacher
You’re not a NFL wide receiver
Or a concrete jungle creature

Renisha, you’re a teacher

You've informed those gang leaders, preachers,
Receivers, and creatures that,
Although Detroit is over 80% Black
They still gotta watch their backs

As if it isn’t sad enough
That their city has nearly turned into
A barren wasteland

And yet, this suburban man
Thought he had it bad
Thought he was being robbed
By Black hands

But he obviously did not understand:

Standing your ground cannot be a defense
When the ground you stand on
Is being shared with a woman
Who is completely weaponless

But, I digress, cuz you
Must have had faith
That people could not be so cruel
As to only judge based on your face

The color of your skin
Did not relate to the heart within
The intent of the knock
Was not to fluster or shock

All you wanted
Was for the door to unlock
On that early autumn morning
At 4 o'clock

But your killer's resolve was as solid
As Ashford & Simpson’s rock
What kind of twisted train of thought
Made him take out his Glock

And pull the trigger
Before he could even reconsider?

I bet he never even noticed
The shadow of a smile on your cheeks
All he felt was relief
To see you off his Street

But Renisha

You were not hunters prey,
An animal to be slain
Or a token victim for opponents
Of the NRA

You were just you, everyday
And your memory lives on:

You will not be another Jordan, or Trayvon

Justice will be served
Before long

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