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Would You Still Do Nothing?
Written by: Shaan Hassan

 He was shot seven times by a cop from behind,

And we’re supposed to act like everything is fine?

Jacob Blake was the black man apparently next in line,

All while George Floyd is still fresh on our minds,

I can’t breathe I can’t breathe,

For eight minutes he never once lifted his knee,

And you wonder why we took to the streets,

It’s because ebony and ivory have never existed in perfect harmony,

When Martin Luther King Jr gave his speech in 1963,

Do you really think in his wildest dream,

That we’d be experiencing the same racist theme in 2020?

“For the sake of humanity” we have been screaming,

Even as we continue crying, mourning and pleading,

Blake, Floyd, Arbery and Taylor are names that bear repeating,

Over and over and over,

From America to Singapore,

If you find the words “Black Lives Matter” offensive,

Then picture yourself the victim of centuries-old oppression,

So it’s time we re-write the books of history,

Just as we abolished slavery what must follow is bigotry,

Or are we too trapped behind our white privilege fence to feel,

That some wounds suffered cannot heal?

Have you forgotten how we got here?

Well let me make it clear,

Children seeing their own dad shot seven times in the back questioned their own fate,

The knee of a cop on the neck of a black man who cannot breathe is not okay,

White men gunning down a black man who was simply jogging reeks of hate,

And a black woman being killed in her own bed before she’s even awake?

What would you say if that was your own daughter?

Would your temperament stay cool or rise a bit hotter?

If that was your son who took his last breath,

Wouldn’t you fight with everything you had left?

Perhaps I can articulate it in a manner that might shed some light,

Would you still do nothing if they had all been white?


Shaan Hassan was born and raised in Southern California to parents of differing religions. He attended the University of California Irvine for his undergraduate and California State Long Beach for his masters. He has written for numerous publications, notably the Associated Press very briefly and the Orange County Register. Writing has always been a passion of his, being able to put into words creatively our thoughts, experiences and feelings.

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