JAC Online

How Can I Be Silent?
by Major Osei Stewart


Silent when there is hurt and pain and hate and rage

Silent when all lives matter, but that black lives do too –

we cannot ignore that fact

cause there seems to be a target on the backs of every man and woman that happens to be black


I cannot be silent – not to my sons, though fair-skinned, but with that black man build and that urban swagger

Christian upbringing – clean cut, doesn’t seem to matter

Not if you’re caught being black


I cannot be silent – not to my daughters, beauty deep and Afro haired – curves of a black queen

Educated and well spoken, ambitious – yet it does seem that none of that matters – not if you’re caught being black


It seems like we’ve turned a page, maybe backwards in time or forward

Perhaps we’ve taken the crumpled page ripped out to keep us from seeing it and pasted it back in – in the wrong section - Reading between the lines never to fully understand


Do not tell me that blacks should get over it – slavery ended or the civil rights era changed things

Nothing’s changed - it's just hidden – no, it is just silent

I have seen it most of my 43 years – no lie


How can I be silent?

Silent when blue lives matter, men and women, shiny badge, uniform blue - but the rationalization of their deaths makes no sense – cause it is true that their lives matter too

People, the sins of a few cannot be covered by the innocent protectors of me and you

To protect and serve all day and then not go home? Come on…


How can I be silent?


The world is broken, and my fists are swollen from punching

Symbolically punching - trying to beat hate with love

Ashy knees from my prayer pose,

Broken dreams – clinging hard to hope is the plight of black folk


Yet, it is through my faith that I can cope


Cause there is a Hope that changes things

You see, there is a Love who was silent

Silently taking the pain and the hurt so that you and I would not have to

Even to cover the sins of white, black and blue

To erase the pain of racism and hate

To tear down the walls that discriminate

To love unconditionally


There is a Hope to release the chains of slavery

Social injustices – in justice He frees

I make no bones of who He be

It’s Jesus Christ – Capital JC


Check Him out


And when we do – there will be no room for the sin

The silent and not-so subtle evil that causes the trigger to be pulled

Black on black, blue on black, black on white, blue on white, white on black...whew!

Throw in some yellow and brown too

All that you get is sin stew

It’s been silently stewing in this Melting Pot


I feel like I’ve gone past the point of rambling

So let me make this clear


God Loves You and all He wants for you to do is turn to Him

He will show you love

Cause God. Is. Love.



And if you have that Love

Then you Cannot. Be. Silent.

Full Stop.









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