Terror on the citizen tightrope
© Joel Johnson
Murder and violent threats are common
enough to many American minorities
that faith in the law of the land
with due process seems a pipe dream.
Civil Rights Movement gains
of the fifties and sixties
appear stalled, although many who attain
success rise to better opportunities.
Of the generations who remained,
some are lured into a turbulent life
where “street cred” and “security” is attained
through factors of poverty, drugs and strife.
The lofty “Dream” proclaimed with power
is tainted by the body count
of those urban youth whose lives were soured
by assuming stereotypes that society fleshed out.
Even trailblazers and their descendents
are threatened by chronic prejudice,
plaguing America’s culture before independence,
that persistently hobble their progress.
Circumstances that an average U.S. citizen
would consider routine and pedestrian
can quickly become traumatic and threaten
the life of an oppressed minority American.
Surviving relatives are left mystified
as a loved one’s loss is dismissed
to the point that justice denied
becomes a human rights abyss.
The ultimate quest to be afforded
moral privilege where assumed guilt is waived
is still, for some, an elusive, exclusive reward
in “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”