Poetry Break

“Stop and Frisk” by Claudia Rankine

Daunte Wright should not have died. On April 11, 2021, a 20-year-old African-American man was fatally shot by police officer Kimberly Ann Potter. It happened during a traffic stop. Wright was going to be arrested for outstanding felony warrants, but after a brief struggled with officers, he was shot. He made an attempt to flee, but wound up crashing his car into another. He was pronounce dead at the scene.

It was said that Kimberly Ann Potter had meant to use her Taser on the young man; instead, she accidentally grabbed her gun and shot Wright once in the chest. A couple of days later, both Potter and the Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon resigned from their positions. This, however, does not make up for the carelessness of Potter’s slight.

And it seems that every time this happens, the right has to voice their song – “He shouldn’t have run.” It’s almost as if running away is a death sentence. But it’s easy to say something like that when white shooters are treated with better favor than unarmed, nonviolent black passersby.

Police cam footage from December was released showing Caron Nazario, an Army officer in his fatigues, being held at gunpoint during a traffic stop. Nazario voiced his fear of getting out of his car to which the police responded, “Yeah, you should be!”

All this comes as the trial for the murder of George Floyd controls the narrative. And it doesn’t feel like we’re growing or learning from these mistakes. As long as the police continue to get away with murdering African-American men and women, no lessons will be learned and no justice will be served.

For the seventeenth poem, I have chosen “Stop and Frisk” by Claudia Rankine.

More Claudia Rankine

Doldrums

TBA

It’s not that haven’t written anything in the weeks after inauguration day; it’s just that I don’t want to stray down the path of politics. Yes, I will discuss my politics. And I will discuss my opinion on the Trump administration. And, yes, I will write about my thoughts on social, political, and economic issues. But if I start off this path now, there’s no turning back.

There are things happen in the world right now—in this country—that irk me. We’ll get to that. Just not right now. Right now, I want to focus on my life. I want to focus on my writing. My job. My kid. I want to focus on the good that’s happening around rather than feeding into the bad. Rather than explaining to my right-wing friends the difference between a peaceful protester (be it Black Lives Matter or the Resistance) and anarchists groups like the Black Bloc.

There’s a time and place to talk about Trump. Talk about his unconstitutional executive orders. Talk about his blossoming dictatorship. Talk about how spineless the GOP has become. How the Democratic party needs to stop being so compromising. To discuss alternative facts.

It’s just not now. Not for me. Not for this blog.

But I do promise that I’ll discuss it. Discuss my opinions. For now, I shall return to reading Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied His Critics and Created a Legacy that will Prevail by Jonathan Chait.