On Kente Cloth: The Appropriation of Our Sacred Symbols

You must have really thought that you were doing something
Dressed in our symbols of liberation
You must have really thought that you could easily put them on
Adorn yourself in our garments
And that we would applaud and champion your efforts
Think that you were really down for the cause
And committed to end of our oppression
As you kneeled in the halls of power

Check in with Katy and Taylor (and Miley and Kim)
They will tell you that we do not like it when you try to be like us
We do not think it is cute, funny, or trendy, when you take things that are sacred to us and use them for your own gain
Like winning the next election

I know that you were trying
Trying to show us, and the world, that you are in solidarity with Black lives
And won’t tolerate white supremacist violence – whether at the hands of a cop or some self appointed vigilante
At least this is what I hope!

But rather than performative gestures like these
I’d prefer you pass an actual policy that gives us the assurance that there will never be another George Floyd, or Breonna Taylor, or Tony McDade
That sentences cops that assault and take Black life
And moves beyond calls for police reform that do nothing
And return the Kente cloth to its rightful owner
It doesn’t belong on your necks
Not after 400 years of your knees being on ours

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