Why is it in this country we are shamed? A poem by Hibo Khalif

In that country we are murdered. In this country we are shamed. Why is it?

A poem by Hibo Khalif, a 17 year old High School student in Melbourne.
Hibo Khalif

My fear is fuelled by the media I watch

By the constant articles I see

BLACK. BLACK. BLACK.

DEAD. DEAD. DEAD

Another hashtag, another name

In that country we are murdered

In this country we are shamed

My life matters

‘But so does everyone else’s’

‘It’s in the past. It’s history.’

But it’s my history and my present

How scared do I have to be?

Should I start to cower?

Wear a shirt that says ‘I’m not harmful’

Bleach my skin so I don’t have to hide

‘You sound so white!’

Because I HAVE to

Because white is synonymous to intelligence

White is socially acceptable

I have to deny my own identity

Because society denies me rights if I don’t

I was never taught to fear the police

Only conditioned to never trust

Never trust the people who should protect

Because their next target won’t be the rapist, the paedophile, the murderer

Their next target will be the black person who was looking too black

It will be the Aboriginal man who was turned away by every shelter

It will be the Sudanese boy who stood too close to other Sudanese boys

‘They look like a gang!’ She screamed

‘I’m scared of them!’ He cried

It will be the black girl who’s told she should straighten her hair

The black person who’s told to change their name

Why is it Twitter who stands up for me?

Why is it politicians who betray me?

Why is it police officers who murder me?

Why is it no one who understands me?

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