Kerwin the Poem

 

 

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  Kerwin 

While some of them will hunt you down
to kill the rest of you
the others will hold festivals
to have something to do
 
And even while they make of you
the very first to die
because of age-old Dutch racism
we both know it's a lie
 
And even if it were the truth
what would it really change?
the jingle of the guilder
is the rattle of the chains
 
The chains they used to bind the blacks
and certain whites as slaves
strange the ways they have devised
to get folks to behave
 
Lord knows the list is long
no space is left to fill
the names of those they've wronged
the unknown ones they've killed
 
A-h-h Europe - your rope - your rope
around my people's neck
after all you have taken and done
what more do you expect?
 
Yes!!! they come and why not
to see theirdiamondstolen sparkle in your sky
for us poor / folk / of a darker race
it's always been a place to go and die
 
Kerwin:
The 1st black to set a foot
in America as a slave
was left in trade
from a Dutch man-o-war
 
Kerwin: what makes you differ
from the others racism had die
is that your case of death by race
is one they can't deny
 
A blood-stain on a taxi-seat
meant more than your life
that's why you layed down on the street
when you were wounded by that knife
 
When they decide
that one must die
it's while the blood is wet
that we're obliged
to ask ourselves
which one of us is next?
 
Remember the friends close to you
who did not look like you?
who did not treat you as
so many of the others do?
Friend is a friend is a friend
is not a color of a skin
but a way of being
this! hate cannot relate
and this is where racism steps in
 
Racism is one thing we learn from history
has done more to damage man than any one disease
people live and people die: that is a natural fact
but not so if the reason why is
just because you're black
 
Kerwin you were not the first
but we want you to be the last
we want fascism to stop
and we must do it fast
 
Kerwin
No one believes it - Kerwin did not - had he - alive
he would be - but he didn't believe -
racism - fascism - Adolf Hitlerism
or just plain Amsterdam snobism
 
No one really believes there is a thing called
racism
it's always something else -
it's not because of your color
they say: it's the way you carry yourself -
 
Who knows what reasons they'll retrieve
racism is something no one believes
even when the black lays dying in the street
no one believes it
 
Closed eyes don't see it
racial abuse / an excuse
no one believes it though it is true -
Kerwin didn't believe / why should you?
Plus how could he?
no one believes racism to be -
like they didn't believe the Vietnamese
pleas to live in peace
they didn't believe blacks should be free
after 400 years of misery
 
KERWIN
They didn't believe / they didn't
believe that we too should
have a right to breathe -
no one believes racism to be /
that people are people
with a right to be happy and free - happy and free
 
No one believes that to be the way it should be
no one believes it possible because no one believes
people don't even believe
what their eyes can see
the injustice / the waste / the inhumanity
they just don't believe - they just don't believe
 
The horror is so normal
so, so, so informal
that the normal horror is believed good
even at the cost of blood �
 
 

                        Maurice Di, 25 August 1984

 

Nothing is more important than stopping fascism because fascism will stop us all