Social Justice Poetry

fighting for what’s right poems

The Resistance Will Not Be Livestreamed | A Social Justice Poem by Joshua Factor

You will not be able to remain ambivalent, brother.
You will not be able to drop in, egg on or cop out.
You will not be able to lose sight of who you are and
Sneak out for a bite or two between buffering sessions
Because the resistance will not be livestreamed.

The resistance will not be brought to you by Nordstrom
In 17 parts with limited commercial interference.
The resistance will not show you pictures of an orangutan
Banging on cymbals and leading the charge for equality alongside
A Keebler elf, a general with nowhere left to go and a man with his
Head so far up his rear end, he tries to put people in jail just for being themselves
While they sit in the throne room eating cronuts confiscated from homeless shelters and orphanages.
The resistance will not be livestreamed.

The resistance will not be brought to you by the Dolby theatre
And will not star Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin or Archer and the last man on earth.
The resistance will not give you sex appeal, although it will make you a decent human being.
The resistance will not get rid of all the scum, but it will vanquish most of it.
The resistance will not make you lose weight but it will result in us getting rid of 250 pounds of useless lard.
The resistance will not be livestreamed, sister.

There will be no pictures of you and A-Rod hitting the last homer in a game that’s long since been won
Or trying to slide a hideously disfigured portrait into a stolen limo.
Fox will no longer be able to go around spreading their lies and deceit
Across 78 separate districts.
The resistance will not be livestreamed.

There will be no depictions of how pigs were
Able to get from the sty to the white house.
There will be no depictions of John Lewis hiding
In some back alley from a world that seeks to lift him up.
There will be no abstracts or pointillism of Cornell William Brooks
Sauntering through Charlottesville in a red, white and blue blazer
That he had been saving for a more optimistic occasion.

The Fosters, Blackish and Superior Donuts will no longer be
So damn relevant, and women will not care if Booth finally
Gets down with Brennan on Bones because African Americans
Will once again take to the streets in search of a brighter tomorrow.
The resistance will not be livestreamed.

There will be no recaps on the antiquated boob tube
And no pictures of up-in-arms feminists and Michelle Obama
Speaking out about everything wrong with our society.
The theme song will not be written by Alan Menken
Or Katharine Lee Bates, nor sung by Conway Twitty,
Frank Sinatra Jr., Bob Dylan or Adele, or Led Zeppelin.
The resistance will not be livestreamed.

The resistance will not be right back after some YouTube advertisements
That people always skip if they can about the latest show or movie coming
Out on Netflix or how you can save hundreds by using Groupons.
You will not have to worry about a killer clown stalking you at night
Or being discriminated against due to forces beyond your control.
The resistance will not be better if you leggo of someone’s Eggo.
The resistance will not enable you to get your hands on some Doritos.
The resistance will place you squarely in the cockpit, and leave it up to you to fire the first shot.

The resistance will not make itself scarce on anyone’s account.
The resistance will not build walls but, rather, tear them down.
The resistance will not be livestreamed, will not be livestreamed.
Will not be livestreamed. The resistance will not be syndicated,
My brothers and sisters, and there will be no reruns because
The resistance will be live.

How I Became a Hater | A Social Justice Poem by Eliza Mimski

I’ve always pretty much been a gentle soul, mild-mannered,
the kind of person who easily forgives, doesn’t hold grudges.
That is, except for certain situations that have happened to me in the past.

When was the past reopened? Was it with his talk about building a wall, or later with the registry? No. I felt others’ pain but didn’t experience it as sharply until the lewd language about women, bragging about groping them.

It was then that I felt personally threatened, my past abuses reopened like an old wound with salt sprinkled, no poured, on all its surfaces.
Suddenly, my perpetrator was the president-elect and my country was no longer mine.

My country slid away, my past rising from its coffins.
The time when I was six and cornered in the garage, told to take off my clothes –
The president elect became that person.
The time when I was ten and Mr. Aberle pushed his tongue down my throat –
The president elect became that person.
The time when I traveled to Mexico and men followed me and grabbed my butt –
The president elect became that person.
The time when I was date-raped on a deserted road.
The president elect became that person.

I became a hater,
my gentleness gone.
I hated him in my heart.
I slammed him on Twitter.
I ridiculed him on Facebook, bullied him just like he bullied others.
I hated him with the same determination that I once reserved for my abusers.
All their faces melted into the same face.
They shape-shifted into the same person.

And now, as a hater, I channel my hate into marching.
Now I protest.
I have a voice.
Now I write poems.

Visit Eliza at https://elizamimski.wordpress.com/.

The Night I Didn’t Stand Up | A Social Justice Poem by Tricia Knoll

That rock concert in New Haven, Connecticut took me by surprise
and why – the national anthem and the crowd was ready,
as one the many stood and hooted for the band.

I didn’t, a white girl whose knees knocked and never thought
of kneeling. Short of breath under the video of carpet bombing
of Cambodia, over the top, over the edge saturation
killing in Cambodia. And this was my country ’tis of thee

I sat in protest. Forty years later the black man kneeled
in more courage than I had in a pot-smoke crowd.
I ducked when some guy yelled I should stand
but there are times when you can’t, when the wrong

is too great, and the great isn’t great enough. So when
Judge Ruth says it’s wrong not to stand but not illegal
I know it can be right and the only thing you can do,
and perhaps it’s better to let wrong drive you to your knees

than sit like a numb ass.

Visit Tricia at http://triciaknoll.com.