Politics & Race
Everything Is Bullshit

I promised myself that I wouldn’t watch any more terrorist videos of police lynching Black men. I’m not particularly squeamish or oversensitive to violence. It’s just that I don’t like those evil images inside me mixing with my spirit. I’m just tired of seeing death scenes like Sandra Bland’s or Eric Garner’s. I didn’t watch the Laquan McDonald video. I still haven’t watched the Alton Sterling or the Philando Castile video. But yesterday I absentmindedly clicked on an article about the cold-blooded murder of Terence Crutcher, and the video began playing automatically.


There is no more need for discourse about hands being up, or resisting or what he did wrong or police fearing for their lives. There is nothing Black people can do to avoid death from the arbiters of keeping niggers in their places. I do not want to hear the breakdown of political reasons, social dynamics and race theories about why this continues to happen. There is no more space for nuanced reason. They are evil.

And everything is bullshit.

Black Lives Matter is bullshit. It is obvious our lives do not matter. It is obvious lying down in the street won’t prevent policemen from shooting your son, daughter, niece or nephew in the face if they feel like it. It is obvious that no one gives a fuck about blocked bridges and die-ins. It is obvious that your protest sign is as insignificant as Terence Crutchers’ raised hands or Eric Garner’s pleas of “I can’t breathe.”

Body cameras are bullshit. They are just another tactic to get us to shut the fuck up. They are just another way to display death in high definition. They are the means of compiling an endless loop of black blood spilling on camera lenses that began with Bull Connor’s German Shepherds,  continued to Rodney King’s late night lesson-teaching and will never stop.

Police are bullshit. All of them. The ones who choke cigarette-sellers, shoot wallet-reachers and subject illegal left-turners to jail cells where they supposedly hang themselves. The ones who wear the same uniforms of the two-second shooters of Tamirs and Johns holding BB guns and don’t say shit. The ones who pay portions of their salaries to the police unions who protect the lynch mobbers in blue. You are part of an organization that kills more Americans than ISIS. There are members of the KKK who never light the crosses on lawns, but still stand around the flames wearing the same white hoods.

Obama is bullshit. As if he doesn’t have the power of executive order that can order special investigations. As if he doesn’t have the ability to appoint special prosecutors. As if he wouldn’t do that if White people were randomly being killed. As if America could somehow hate him more, or throw more racism at him. As if the Zika virus is more important than the racist virus. As if Black people aren’t the reason for his presidency. As if his detractors could do something. As if—-if there were blowback or political obstruction after he did this–it would be unusual.

Black people are bullshit. For buying Lil Wayne CDs. For wearing Cam Newton jerseys. For not spitting at Jerry Rice every time you see him in Public. For not forever referring to kneeling at the anthem  as “Kaepernicking. For not holding sellouts accountable. For not ostracizing the weak-minded, thereby weakening ourselves as a whole. For repeatedly allowing the people who perpetuate the violence against Black people to become stars. For buying R. Kelly tickets. For allowing someone named “Young Thug” to become a celebrity. For not protecting our sons and daughters. For not fighting. For singing slave spirituals in 2016.

White people are bullshit. For not elbowing your racist friends in the throat when they do or say something racist. For not understanding. For believing that symbols of justice and freedom are more important than justice and freedom. For not caring. For being more vigilant about calling in stray pressure cookers than police brutality. For demonizing boogeymen in black burkas but not blue uniforms. For not giving a fuck about 13% of America. For not bleeding with us. For not standing with us.

America is bullshit. Because there is nothing I can teach my son or daughter that will prevent him from randomly dying because of his skin color. Because I must interrupt my children’s innocence and youth with that cold truth or wait for a call from a coroner. Because Trayvon was just walking home with candy. Because Philando had his son in the car. Because Eric just sold cigarettes. Because Sandra never got a chance to start her new job. Because Tamir had a brand new BB gun. Because John wanted a brand new BB gun. Because Emmitt Till could only control his embarrassing stutter by whistling. Because Swisher sweets and Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea and loud music and gun permits and tasers are code words for death sentence.

Because we  are niggers. Again. Forever and ever.

And everything else–the Hotep speeches, the raising of Black fists, the meetings, the marches, the preachers, the candles, the chants, these motherfucking tears I’m tired of crying…



About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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