Editor’s note: This poem is part of our #SpreadTheWord poem of the week series, featuring work by Chicago artists based on Injustice Watch reporting. This poem was inspired by “Black Chicago has been looted for decades” and “Essential Work: Young Black activists ‘in the middle of history’ confront Covid-19 and racism.” For more poetry in this series, click here.

Elizabeth Trujillo

For years my black brothers and sisters have been bleeding
Cuts that never receive the healing they deserve
Years of genocide
Reparations that still have not been granted

Black babies wake up to generational trauma
White babies wake up to generational wealth
You tell me if we’re equal.

Investigations that expose, influence and inform. Emailed directly to you.


But you feel no remorse
Black bodies are taken from us like there isn’t anything better to do
Like it’s a new hobby
Like there aren’t children to feed in asylums
Like there aren’t other countries begging for our help
Like there isn’t a system that solely benefits the superior race

Another black man dead is not news
A skewed narrative is not news
Homicides dressed in “self-defense”
See, the police didn’t kill him because he was black…
It was because he “fit the description”.
To you, a threat
To us, a brother, a son, a father, and friend

Peaceful protesters mistaken for criminals
The movement associated with looting
But, I get it.
It is easier to overgeneralize
To racially profile our extra melanin
To close your eyes and point fingers.

Do you sleep peacefully at night?
Knowing you are contributing to the problem
Knowing that police are rarely convicted for taking innocent lives
Knowing you choose not to stand or fight with us

You tell me if we’re equal.

Elizabeth Trujillo is a part of InterACT, a social justice performance troupe at California State University, Long Beach. She is learning how to be a better ally and using her platform to speak on issues that need more attention. Liz enjoys writing and misses performing, but is taking one day at a time.