Death Toll (2015)

I once said before, 

We hold each breath close 

like Uncle Sam holds 

political prisoners on death row 

he scared to let go 

he fears the power 

of the child of the ghetto 

 

but this death toll 

is at my threshold 

 

and if you didn't know 

this being black in America ish is stressful

 

Never knowing what's gonna happen when you set forth 

and step forth from your front porch 

maybe that's the reason 

why I'm contemplating death more 

 

Like 

 

what's it gonna feel like when my flesh cold 

they place my body in that fresh hole 

and I hate being so necro 

but negroes and death go 

hand in hand 

like kids back in the day who used to thumb wrestle, 

 

that grim reaper be on our back like an echo

echo

echo 

echo

 

I've seen police choke a nigga until his breath go

 

I seen them point that glock at his top 

cock back that shot 

and then let go 

 

Cop must've thought he had a bulletproof dome like Destro 

The boy had locks with a front license plate in the glove box 

so tell me what he dead for

 

I seen them arrest a sister for failing to signal 

while driving through a pedzone 

should've been a citation 

still they took her to jail 

and 3 days later she dead though 

and they think we dumb enough to believe 

suicide is why we laying flowers on her headstone

 

I seen them shoot a man shopping at Walmart 

for an air rifle outside of Dayton metro

cops magically appear on the scene 

with guns out like presto

shots fired while he looking at them falling price specials

now he under a white sheet at the morgue 

with a tag on his left toe

 

That's death toll 

 

these American streets are a morbid expo 

of lifeless black bodies lying exposed 

they try to assure us that this ain't no retro Jim Crow 

but we know this that new version 2.0 

Michelle Alexander said so

 

This here is my manifesto

 

We sick and tried of dying 

we putting a stop to dying 

Either by our hands 

or the hands of white violence 

And I know I have some agency 

over this hate in me 

but I experience a little bit of latency 

when I think about that white boy

and those 9 he killed up at the AME 

you can look at my face and see 

black rage in the place to be 

what you expect 

when y'all doing this so blatantly 

 

my country, tis of thee 

 

you have made me a strange and bitter fruit 

which you harvest from your tree of liberty. 

 

Roots are buried deep beneath the soil, 

four hundred years of racial terrorism and turmoil 

better beware because this melting pot about to start to boil. 

 

You are not equipped with empathy, 

you do not have the capacity to change. 

You are so thoroughly programmed 

that you cannot see the error of your ways. 

And my people have changed. 

This ain't that docile hat in hand 

Stepin Fetchit step to the side, 

We that wretched of the earth, 

with a ratchet tucked 

west side til I die. 

We already accustomed to dying without reason. 

And once these lines remove the poison 

and blindfolds from my people's minds 

whose favorite past time is killing they own kind 

they gonna want to get even.

 

So what does this mean for America as a whole? 

keep killing my people stealing those we love from our homes, 

And you'll leave us with no other choice 

but to show America the true definition of a death toll. 

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