This poem is in honor of my childhood friend Jonny Gammage and Trayvon Martin of Florida.
KAI SIMS EspreeNet News Service
How long do you think you can push us Mr. Charlie
Before we begin to push back
Who gave you the right to put our lives in your hands
Because our skin is yellow, brown or black
Who in the hell do you think you are
This situation is a matter that’s serious
Did you really think you would get away with that murder
Like Eddie Murphy, YOU ARE DELIRIOUS!
And you wonder why our young boys and girls are so angry
Why we’re portrayed with such anger and destruction
Why our prisons are crowded and colleges are empty
Because YOUR justice system reeks of obstruction
So to you and all of your Keystone Cop friends
Your day of reckoning is coming soon
No longer will you murder our people for sport
We’re not your Chink, your Spic or your Coon!
Mr. Charlie, this time: YOU WILL NOT WIN!
This situation is now in God’s hands
Travon Martin is proof: We’ll get the justice we seek
Because united we will continue to stand!
How dare you insult our intelligence
With your lies, one after the other
Those lives that you saw no value in
Were someone’s Son, Husband, Father and Brother
So try as you might you will not win
Because stronger than ever we’ll stand
You WILL give us all the respect we deserve
That’s not a request; THAT is a demand!
So you may as well get used to us
Because we are coming and we’re bringing the NOISE
No more will you get away with participating
In the annihilation of our girls and boys!
So sleep well Mr. Charlie, but don’t sleep long
Because for right now we are just coping
But if I was you, I would watch my back!
And ya may want to keep one of those eyes WIDE OPEN!
Kathy (Kai) Sims
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I initially wrote this poem out of shear anger and in memory of a childhood friend of mine, Jonny Gammage, who was murdered on October 12th of 1995 in the Brentwood suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA. What was the unwritten crime he committed you ask: He was simply Driving While Black. Jonny, like Travon Martin, who incidentally, was Walking While Black, was murdered in cold blood by the very type of people who had sworn to protect and serve us as civilians. Seventeen years later and in 2012, we are still fighting the same type of senseless crimes committed by the same type of “Thugs behind the Badge” that are too cowardly to tell the truth! The only real difference between Jonny and Travon is that Jonny was murdered by “Real” cops and Travon was killed by a “Wannabe” cop. (Same people different time and space) Now let me be very clear that this is not a war on cops. Most of them are good and work hard uphold the oath that they swore to live by. Unfortunately, there are a few who make it bad for everyone.
The ironic twist to the history of this poem is that it was written nearly seventeen years ago. Since that time I had performed at several spoken word venues where I changed the title and the words a couple of times but it never really felt quite right to me. It wasn’t until the death of Travon Martin that I decided to revisit it one more time, (better yet, IT revisited me). Throughout the years, I changed the words and title slightly but images of the many victims continued to run through my mind.
It wasn’t until the recent conclusion of this poem and right before I submitted it for publishing before I renamed it for the 4th time to “Enough”. Ironically, a few days later, I turn on the news and see people marching in memory of Travon Martin and the theme of the march is called “Enough” I smile to myself, assured that I had done the right thing. This morning, April 2, 2012, I sit down at my computer to put my thoughts into words but I’m still missing something.
Because I have blocked out the incident of Jonny’s murder in my mind for so long, my memory of the exact day sometimes fail me. I googled Jonny and what do I find, there are productions and stories and interviews of his life, that I had never known. This just confirms what I already knew, like Travon, Jonny’s story had touched the lives of many…many whom he never even met. However, there was one production in particular, that stood out on this day. So of course, I read a little further: As it turns out, this one is a NOMO production directed by Billy Jackson and narrated by Danny Glover and what is it called: “Enough is Enough” I smile even wider this time because I know this was no accident but instead it was a message from GOD, letting me know that I can finally put these words to rest and share with the world of what I know about Jonny and what I have heard about Travon.
My spirit tells me they will meet in Heaven, where they will sit at the table before GOD and what comes of that conversation will be for the world to soon experience. I don’t believe that anything happens by accident and we will understand this better by and by!