You Are Not Above

You Are Not Above

Dear Mr. Police Officer,
I was taught to respect you as a kid,
but respect is earned not given,
and these heinous actions are too easily forgiven
by a society that looks the other way
while perpetuating a sick system
whose roots grow from ignorance.

You see, another young man got shot down today.

You ain’t a peace officer,
when you won’t accept a peace offering,
when you can’t hold back your anger,
when you put innocent lives in danger,
when you murder a complete stranger.

That ain’t peace; it’s war,
declared on an entire people.
Can’t you see this is evil?

Your title is an oxymoron,
so long as you continue to kill
whomever you will
over petty offenses
or what you perceive with biased senses.

If you stand for what is right,
resort to negotiation over might.
Remove these racists from your ranks.

Stop parading our towns in tanks.
Stop viewing everyone as a threat.
Stop stereotyping those who paid their debt.

You’re supposed to be saving lives,
helping people to survive,
but some of your cohorts are wrong,
when they use lethal force
and can’t recognize the worth
of the human being standing before them.

Please, put an end to this bloody season,
where people are being murdered for no reason.
Taken so harshly and left defenseless.
Taken so young—God, it’s so senseless!

A badge does not a saint make.
When will the law be applied equal and not fake?
When from this slumber of injustice shall we awake?
This lawless circus ain’t justice. It’s treason.

If this is a country of We the People,
these needless executions of the innocent
betray our country to its very core.
At what point will we say we can’t take it no more?

Even a criminal does not deserve such a death,
for with it is lost all chance for redemption.
Since when from laws do cops get exemption?
What ever happened to the right to a fair trial?

These racist happenings are beyond vile.
It’s the only explanation for justice so unfairly applied.
There is no justification for how they’ve died.
There is no justice to this system when authority lies.

Justice is not this harsh punishment that destroys so many lives.
Justice is fairness, and mercy, and persons fairly tried.
Instead we drown in the tears that we’ve cried.

If you say all lives matter, then act like it.
If you want to call yourself a peace officer, then practice it.

How many more? How many more people?
How many more years? How many more tears?
When can our black brothers and sisters stop living in fear?

Until they are free to live and be safe,
our nation surely, then, is not,
for without unity and love,
what have we got?

When will the themes of the Fourth of July
be more to us than just a national lie?

When will the term free
truly apply to so many people
who aren’t white like me?

D.L. Lang
D.L. Lang
Diana L. Lang is Poet Laureate of Vallejo, California. She has published nine poetry books under the pen name D.L. Lang, won several awards at area county fairs, and enjoys participating in the spoken word community of Solano County.
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