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  • Chris Rockwell

4/4 "The Word of the Day is Disproportionate"

4/4 "The Word of the Day is Disproportionate" "As of Friday morning, African Americans made up almost half of Milwaukee County’s 945 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths in a county whose population is 26% black." -Propublica, April 3rd


My social circle

Got much smaller

After I started openly accepting

My white privilege


I saw them go

Often, unceremoniously

Other times, in a gust of hot angry breath

Their hands rattling in discord

Clinging to their comfort

In stealthy, understated racism

Simply because it wasn't a lynching


But racism

Is sneaky like that

It can turn a confederate flag

Into a bumper sticker

It can turn a concussion

Into a coincidence


The disproportionate deaths

Of blacks in America

During this global pandemic

Should be enough to tell anyone

This is a silent, socioeconomic bloodletting

A greased wheel on a funeral wagon

A round of hemlock shots

On the house


The system isn't broken

The system works fine

It's working exactly the way

It was designed


Black communities

Built like chicken coops

Are not ideal

For social distance

Redlined into existence

By rich white men

Who cared less about

Human life

And more about

Their property value


Generations of marginalization

Compounded over time

Disproportionate imprisonment

Disproportionate education

Disproportionate pay

Disproportionately sending

Black communities to the gauntlets

Their social circles

Getting much smaller

By the day


All the while

The president

Epitome of privilege

Shakes hands

Smiles

Calls it all

A hoax


To read more about how the novel coronavirus is affecting people of color, please click the link below.

https://www.propublica.org/article/early-data-shows-african-americans-have-contracted-and-died-of-coronavirus-at-an-alarming-rate/amp?__twitter_impression=true

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