Twelve uniformed, white cops in San Francisco
beat to the street one
and sit on him, handcuff him, hold him down, face
to the pavement
for forty minutes.
He is unarmed –
we expected that –
but he is also un-legged – just a metal stump where once was a leg and they
sit on him and hold him down, face-down in the streets of
while the rest of us stand around and take photos with cellphones.
Outrage is such a
or any direction,
what word-winds could ever enrage enough ?
(as twelve white San Francisco cops – together hold down
one unarmed black man with no
face to the gutter –
for forty minutes?)
“…and it occurred to me…”
Nicki Giovanni said for all of us:
“maybe I shouldn’t write
but clean my gun
and check my kerosene supply
perhaps these are not poetic
And the Soviet journalist Ilya Ehrenburg, on witnessing the
mutilated and tortured bodies of Russians that Hitler’s Nazi troops had murdered:
“A Tommy gun, not a pen, is needed.”
Fred Jerome, author of many books including (with Rodger Taylor) Einstein on Race and Racism (Rutgers University Press, 2005) is a Board member of WFTE, a longtime troublemaker and most significantly, played a small role in bringing into the world ten grandchildren who — he hopes — will multiply the troublemaking in the years ahead.