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this isn’t an opinion and it’s not going to go in the direction you think. this is a reaction, this is both perspectives, this is the reflection of two sides of a two sided story. this is even ground. this is the voice of reason.

rifles on the home front;
race against race, fist against fist.
conspiracy changes individuals to conformity.
conform to government
ways, around being blind to blood on their sleeves.
grenades blow the stop sign-
street lights directed by the national guard.
paid by the government, they spill blood.
controlled by the government, they burn bones-
history remakes itself. tainted
graves, no lessons learned.
the plot puts person against person.
betrayal fuels defensive mechanisms to kick in;
progress burned.
turn people into colors,
verdicts into racist acts,
government verses people.
derived from racism, comes reactions-
fatal chaos erupts in shattered glass and open fire.

now who’s wrong?

provoked and pushed-
the creation of a movement,
intentions righteous, execution wrong.
martin luther king jr?
No.
violence strays you from him.
warrior of peace and equality,
insusceptible to accusations and hatred-
he did not create destruction and spill blood
as the cost of what he sought.
he moved with peaceful actions and words-
these victorious movements proved loyal
followers who fought.
citizens stampede the streets, claiming
executions are allowed, claiming the government
stands racist.
officials surround the streets – streets turned
into a battlefield, a graveyard- now who’s safe?
officials armed, citizens rage like wild animals.
officials claim their right to defend, to protect,
to shoot if threatened. wouldn’t you?

who to believe?

we overcome by making a peaceful movement,
by trying for change,
by uncovering an unjust system.
we succumb to the powerful
by acting as we see them act,
by becoming what we hate, the very thing we’re against,
by expecting wounds to heal by the shed of more blood,
by allowing the act of one man determine the character
of every other man in uniform.
of every other black or white.
evidence lies. people lie.
so where..

where does the truth lie?

the rift between the powerful and the silent,
the protectors and the makers, the guilty and the innocent,
the suited and the dirty, the controlled and the free-
did not start here,
but the sins of all are exposed here.
shock does not shake my bones
when killers are set free,
when the law becomes the power to act
as the grim reaper, to change the law unjustly-
not this time – all times.
when citizens are killed in cold blood,
when cops are killed in cold blood,
when a nation rises in that same violent outrage
with the blood of innocents in their eyes
and commit the same crimes.

you yield for those like you,
for those in suits, for those with a badge,
for those in power,
not for the innocence of the crime-
and who is wrong and who is right
is not where people stand now.
they rise against a broken system and seek change.
non-violent citizens who are not setting cars ablaze,
beating skin until it bleeds, stealing bottles of
raging adrenaline from broken glass-
non-violent citizens are standing for a cause
they’re not rioting, they’re rallying.
right or wrong, it’s NOT black or white.
there’s your message in a bottle-
the doorway for change was opened,
and now it will be known.
ALL lives matter.
martin luther king jr. was feared,
deemed the most dangerous man
because his peace was effective, he was heard and listened to,
his change was accepted and respected.
gray will rise; fill the sky with clouds and
the streets with smoke.
gray will rise and stand for people.
skeletons turn over in their graves-
progress missing.
united we stand?
then you better start listening.

-allison ryder
11.28.14