DTH: Death to Him

You stupid, entitled prick!
How dare you refer to my client
As “boy.”
He is a man,
Even if that means nothing to you.

Your white privilege
Assumes that you and I are the same,
But I am not as white as you.
I refuse to be complicit in your
Racist crusade.
You have spent a lifetime
Patting backs and padding pockets
To earn your precious seat
As District Prosecutor,
A seat you will lose in the next election cycle.
Perhaps, you have something to learn
From my experience, sir.

My soul aches for the hundred plus years of collective time
Taken from human beings
You treated as chattel under the guise
Of “keeping our community safe.”
You can take your chivalry, and shove it.
I worry for your safety
Far more than my own.

I may seem like a naïve, young attorney
In need of redirection and professional guidance.
If you stopped playing God long enough, you would see
That I believe my client
Not because I am ignorant or lazy.
I believe him because
I have seen his bruises and bloodied black skin.
I believe him after spending a few nights of my own
In a frigid jail cell
Under a frayed blanket,
A pale outlier in a sea of black faces.

I recognize the glow in his eyes
As the spark of survival from a fire of anger
Fueled by a lifetime of oppression and poverty.
I saw this same light
In the eyes of the aging, black prostitute
Who offered me warm tea
As I lay shivering and alone
On a filthy mattress under the stairs
of an overcrowded pod.
She and I were united
By our individual suffering
After I fell beyond the reach
Of my white privilege.

With the stroke of a pen, you wrote “DTH” in red
On the corner of my client’s file.
Ironically, you stood to lose your empire with those rash pen strokes.
As your subordinate remained blissfully unaware
And calmly enlightened me on the meaning of those letters-

You feel those letters should personify
The power you possess to destroy all who cross you.
You believe those letters should end our discussion
And cause my surrender.
But I will not back down,
Because I am OUTRAGED!

Do not patronize me.
I will not calm down
Or bow to your pressure!
Given the choice,
I would stand with my client any day
Before I would put the keys to my future
In your filthy, corrupt, and un-calloused hands.
I will fight for my client’s life
As if it were my own.
Because it is my own.
Go ahead and threaten
My law degree.
You can have it.
I will gladly trade that piece of paper
To keep my conscience
And my integrity.

The truth is not
black and white
As you see it.
The truth is wrong versus right.
This is not the same thing.

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