Amadou [Diallo]: did you mean dialogue?
Surely. Back and forth 41 times those guns went
between one another, debating red or blue, and
yet, ineffectual in stopping the calamity, but so
Ousmane [Zongo]: did you mean Congo?No difference: one is a nation of darkness, the
other an anthem of darkness. Just beat the drum,
damn it. Beat the drum.
Sean Bell: did you mean Sean Bell? With every pound he put into that marriage
proposal, a toll he paid for a ring to mean
[Tarika] Wilson: did you mean tarlike?Is God white?
Oscar Grant: did you mean Oscar Grant?Tell me. What good reason could I have for not yet
visiting San Francisco other than him when I
already make people shake wherever I go?
[Aiyana] Jones: did you mean Aryan?No, because holocaust’s face must always be that
of a victim, of a young girl.
[Ramarley] Graham: did you mean Bob Marley? No, because Mr. Graham didn't actually shoot the
sheriff; the deputy was wounded by friendly fire,
don’t be fooled.
[Trayvon] Martin: did you mean traction?
Yes, in the way that lynching, the first
quintessential American sport, has regained its
footing among a younger generation – no robes
worn, no fouls given, not a whistle to blow.
[Rekia] Boyd: did you mean riskier? Of course. There may be nothing riskier than being
a black woman in America: because of who you
are, because of who you love, because.
[Shantel] Davis: did you mean shunted?Not with how that blood flowed, going wherever it
damn well pleased.
[Sharmel] Edwards: did you mean shame? Yes.
[Kimani] Gray: did you mean kimono?I did indeed, if ignorance is a kind of silk.
[Renisha] McBride: did you mean relish? Only the day we heard the word guilty and wept
from the barrels of our brown eyes what felt like
water, where before there had been only dust.
Eric Garner: did you mean Eric Garner?Nobody did, but it happened by someone’s hands,
stupid drunk with something, yet never bitten by acuff. Mike Brown: did you mean Mike Brown? No. I meant Hulk Hogan, clearly. [Tanesha] Anderson: did you mean tarnish?Accurate.
[Tamir] Rice: did you mean tamer? As in, not twelve years old, but eleven? Ten? Nine?
Would that have been tame enough?
[C – ]: did you mean cortisone?Well, now that does sound mighty glorious, a shot
to the heart I wouldn’t mind taking.