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  • Writer's pictureChopsticks Alley

"Contesting" (For my Black Brothers and Sisters) by Danny Thien Le

When you say, “Asian Lives Matter”

Your words dangle like a wooden EAT PRAY LOVE sign from the comforts of your social comments

The sound of your fingers tapping in rapture Furiously making a point to point out that you too have suffered indignations on the same level from society!

That have gotten you shot by the police! That have gotten you beaten up by the police! That have gotten you racially profiled by the police! That have gotten you unfairly jailed by the police! That have gotten you illegally searched by the police! That has gotten drugs planted on you by the police!

That has gotten you segregated from water fountains, lunch counters, buses, schools, participating in living

That has gotten you sprayed down by water hoses, smashed by truncheons, dogs biting down, and hung from your neck by a rough rope noose

That has you sprinting down dirt roads with wide eyes, chased down by white robes on horseback Trying to pass you a flaming baton to end your race

That made it illegal for you to marry outside of your skin, to love and support for better or for worse, to bring up mixed babies created by illegally stolen bodies in a land that was illegally stolen

That has kept Black minds from manifesting their best, because integrated education sounds like sin to a bigot but the pillaging of Black ideas, efforts, and energy is “prophecy”

That has made EXISTING WHILE BLACK a crime since time immemorial

I see that, you too have suffered, just like Black people through your filters and Photoshop and sparkles and stamps, being able to lighten and darken your skin on a whim, or erase your identity completely in a cosplay of white conformity

Lost in your Tik Tok and Fortnite inspired (stolen) Black dances Through street (Black) music, street (Black) clothing, and street (Black) language you owned since… how old are you again?

(Mis)Quoting Black civil rights leaders, allies, activists, and artists to back up your (racists) views and conspiracy theories

As you continue your defense, citing the times you were wronged but never killed for any of those incidences, I’ll imagine you holding onto a lucky cat with the number “8” tattooed across your bicep, clutching the model minority handbook while praying to White Jesus, adorned in jade jewelry, eating an orange, draped in the blood red good fortune that is not afforded to Blacks

When you say, “Asian Lives Matter”

You pour thick white paint over the names of the dead Silence their families, their tears, their reality Pointing to a casket sized mirror being lowered into the ground

Saying: “Yes, I too have suffered,” while pressing a button to ‘post’ your supposed assassination

Poet, Founder/Creative Director at South East Beast, Studied Master of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University

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