The Standard Script Given to the Grieving Mother Whose Black Child Has Been Murdered by Police

Tamir Rice

by B. Sharise Moore

1.

Dress as you would for Sunday morning communion.
Black women appear least aggressive with heads bowed,
while kneeling.
Black rage does not photograph well.

2.

Quote I Corinthians, every grandmother’s go to book.
Call on Jesus.
Even as your stomach knots, restricts to a rawness that numbs,
convince them that this is His will, and that His will shall be done.

3.

Plead for the peace your child was unworthy of while alive.
Pause deliberately.
Denounce. Distance yourself from the riotous fires
that have done more to honor him than this law has.

4.

Quote an out of context syllogism,
preferably“I Have a Dream.”
After all, you are grieving
and no one has studied it anyway.

5.

Tell them they must vote.
This will not happen if they simply vote
…more.
often.
They can move Forward with their Obamas and Holders
on their shoulders. Tell them he cannot really speak for you.
He is not the President of Black America.

6.

Make it plain you’ve raised all of your children to be color blind.
in church.
You are Christians in spite of your dead son’s
Kindergarten suspension.

7.

Call for faith in a system that has failed you for 400 hundred years.
Tell them justice must run the same course
as the too many bullets that splintered your child’s temple,
opened up his abdomen like some twisted Cracker Jack prize.

8.

Mention the good police.
Not all bad. Not all vigilante.
Not all trigger happy. Not all racist.
Yet all more alive and well than your child.

9.

Be respectable. Remind them of Black on Black crime.
Tell them the police kill them because they kill themselves.
Tell them that they are responsible for the smashed skulls
of their own daughters and sons
with their sagging pants, poverty,
and murderous rhymes that malign collective progress.

10.

Repeat:
“This is not about race.”
“This is not about race.”
“This is not about race.”
Repeat as you watch yet another mother fold her tears in her already bulging purse.
Watch while she strains to push her child back inside the safety of her womb.
Stare as she leans over a son who looks oddly like your own:
Dead and stiff and indicted and tried more than his murderer.

11.

Repeat:
“This is not about race.”
“This is not about race.”
“This is not about race.”
Remind them of Black on Black crime.
Of Black on Black Crime.
Of Black on Black crime.
“This is not about race.”

12.

Convince her it is necessary
that she believes it too.

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2 responses to “The Standard Script Given to the Grieving Mother Whose Black Child Has Been Murdered by Police

  1. Ouch! Very pointed and poignant. Makes me immediately think of “Dream Deferred” except that that poem was written how many decades ago and still African Americans are frustrated in their quest for justice.

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