The following is a poem written by Three Rivers native Torrey Brown. Any views or opinions expressed in this poem are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Watershed Voice staff or its board of directors.
SON: Why can’t I wear my hoodie? It’s an extension of me!
FATHER: But that hoodie can be a weapon, you don’t know what their reaction will be.
SON: We live in America, what can’t I wear what I choose?
FATHER: Because we live in America, and I will die before you are abused.
SON: But I’m 14 now and my decisions should be mine?
FATHER: But racism still prevails and to those fears you cannot be blind.
SON: I thought this was America, and I was free to do as I please?
FATHER: This is America, but that statement is not for you and me.
See our skin color scares them, because it’s different.
SON: But racism ended didn’t it?
FATHER: See that’s what they want everyone to believe but the system has a huge skew.
SON: Does that mean that the rules change when they are dealing with me and you?
FATHER: That’s exactly what that’s means. Now you understand why our fight is true.
SON: So what can we do about it? Why don’t we attack?
FATHER: Because then we will be what they think we are, but if they start it you can fight back.
SON: I will give them everything that I got, a push over I will not be, i will teach them who I am and not to mess with me.
SON: Was it like this when you were my age? Did you go through the same?
FATHER: Yes it was and yes, I did, but if we keep fighting things will continue to change.
Torrey Brown is a loving husband, father, and son, and also an outspoken champion for the black cause and all social injustices.