Commentary and Philosophy Poetry posted June 6, 2020

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Under 10 words: It's really quite black and white.

Disregard For Life

by LisaMay

Obey nine commandments.

“Thou shalt not kill” 

seems optional.


Under Ten Competition writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
In this prompt the poet must try and submit a poem that is under ten words. Any style. Rhyming is optional.


Author's Note:

My poem was triggered by George Floyd's death and the resulting violent protests that have unleashed other violent injustices, but it is also a generalised comment on society today. We seem hell bent on a killing spree, whether inflicted on ourselves through addictions and suicide, or aimed at others in private or public areas, as individuals or governments.

In relation to our current ills of brutality and murder, violence resulting in death is disproportionately higher for non-whites. It is committed towards them, and by them. Through systemic discrimination and prejudice, the scales are loaded. Statistics show higher levels of poverty, unemployment, arrests, imprisonment, gang deaths, addiction issues, domestic violence - the list is long. There are glaring racial disparities in the criminal justice system, in arrests, sentences, and consequences.

To generalise, USA black history is one of slavery; my area's black history (Australia and New Zealand) is that of colonisation dominating Aboriginals and Maori - here, too, the statistics tell a similarly lop-sided story. Oppression simmers through generations. It has a long memory in the perpetrators as well: "The best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour." Inequality will always erupt. Violence can be turned upon its own kind in anguish, frustration, and the impotent rage of the side-lined. Communities that operate along lines of racialized disrespect and division will remain divided, and dis-integration will be our future, such as currently being demonstrated by mass civil unrest of war and disorder as opposed to Law and Order.
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