Queer young man, Danez Smith returns fire at the “All Lives Matter” crowd with his poem titled “Principles.”
Danez Smith who is originally from Minnesota, the same place as Philando Castile, performed his powerful spoken word poem at the annual Brave New Voices festival in Washington, D.C. last week. His emotional performance addressed many pressing issues, such as police violence, inequality, and homophobia among others.
In his more than seven-minute performance, Smith was especially candid in his description of the plight African Americans face in the country. As he read through his poem, he threw more light on the relevant questions Black Americans must ask themselves about their country. “Ask if your country belongs to your country-folk,” Smith says in one of his lines.
He further went on to address the racist myth of “All Lives Matter” by saying that, “all lives don’t matter the same as all lives. Some lives matter only to ourselves. Some lives matter only in the hood. Some lives matter of fact, and some lives up for debate. All lives matter to somebody, but what about this life of mine.”
Danez Smith deserves applause for discussing racial issues in a public forum, as too many people still deny there is any problem in the country. With the ongoing debate as to whether Americans are truly free, given the amount of authority the police have over average citizens, the line “ask if democracy is a chain tight as skin around your neck,” drives home the point that America is quickly switching from a democratic government to an autocratic government.
We the citizens must fight together to protect our rights, we must not sit still while the government continues to trample on them. We must not let fear keep us from expressing our thoughts and opinions; we must emulate the young and brave Danez Smith. We must stand together against the tyranny of the government. We must not let race divide us, we must support and uplift each other, because divided we fall, united we stand.
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