by Jayla Reilly, Features Contributor
photo courtesy of Jayla Reilly




That’s what they called us the next morning




Those words cut like shards of glass from shattered store windows

They burn like police cruisers flipped on their sides

They sting like tear gas — choking me until I can’t breathe without feeling like I’m dying

It’s not fair

It’s never been fair 

I don’t know if it ever will be fair

Because what they won’t tell you 

Is that the skin of those who broke the windows

Burned the shops

Smashed the cruisers

Their skin was not black like the midnight filled with sirens 

No, their skin was white

White like the hats of the medics who were shot by police

But still

We are the ones who are blamed

Even if we were the perpetrators 

Does it matter anymore?

Be peaceful

They say

The most important thing is to be peaceful

But we’ve been peaceful 

We’ve been peaceful for three hundred years and nothing has changed

It’s not fair

It’s never been fair

I don’t think it ever will be fair

Because no matter what we do 

The reaction will always be the same 

They care more about money

About business 

About animals 

About a piece of striped cloth 

Than they care about us 

So yes

We’re mad

I’m mad

We have every right to be mad

And if our anger scares you


Maybe now you’ll listen