Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Featured Image: Nathan Dumlao


Derek Chauvin is

Guilty of second-degree murder

Guilty of third-degree murder

And guilty of second-degree manslaughter.

Are the first words I wake up to

This ugly truth I always knew

But they wrapped up under that statement

It was one bad apple

Asking, What was George Floyd doing?

As if it mattered

When his only weapon was his Blackness

Yet they plastered his death to Instagram, Facebook,

Snapchat, anywhere I could turn my head and look

At another one of my skinfolk murdered 

And turned into entertainment or some great moment of revelation

For white masses that turned their heads away

From the swing of Strange Fruit

Or the ravings of problematic uncles at dinner parties

So when they yell this verdict

I fall apart yet again

Watching as blood flows 

Where I think I’ve cauterized this Grief

This Black Pain they carved into my skin

Before my eyes even opened

And my tongue began to wag

A newborn carrying the weight of an ugly history

I now bore the scars of 

This pain I’ve carried because this skin offends them

In a world where being Black

Will always come with consequences

This White World where my anger must be calm

And my grief some soft thing

To be analyzed under expert white eyes.

So I fall again in this pit of Grief

Grinding my teeth where this pain pushes again

Deep inside of me

Forcing out this peace I’ve glued together

Out of the tattered remains of my sanity.

But then they plaster Sacrifice 

Next to George Floyd’s name

That ugly word they speak with ease

Saying he gave a great sacrifice

Like some sacrificial lamb that decided 

To walk right into a white man’s slaughterhouse

All for some damned Greater Good

Though what good is this White World

That swallows Black and Brown bodies up whole

Only to spit up lies and crocodile tears?

But that hideous rotten word drips in my mind


Like being murdered for being Black

Is some great honor

In this world where to be Black

Is to be guilty until proven innocent.

Sanaa Mirz

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