Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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A Call To Action

Yet another Black man murdered.

I am not Black, I am not White, but I am American.
We were established on the idea of a collective “we” — we, the people, despite creed or color.
The culmination of atrocities is to you, to me, to us.
We face this injustice as one.
We must.

The world is changing; we are changing —
Faster, more impactful responses to injustices.
Police reach into communities to establish or rebuild trust.
Good intentions undercut by a history and recurrence of heinous crimes;
Generations lost by discrimination, by hatred.

Lives dedicated to the movement for equality,
The overturning of the pervasive bias of colored criminality,
The fight against a system of profit over humanity,
The illegalization of civil rights abuses and indignity,
The intolerance of the status quo and inactivity.

We rally again.

Protesters indiscriminately gather in solidarity — afraid for their lives.
Enforcement stands armed prepared to face enraged masses — afraid for their lives.
Commentators vocalize their outrage, their disappointment.
Leadership mimics commentators’ responses.
Amid the chaos, communication is severed.

Stop, there has to be more.

How can you fear for your life while instilling fear in those you wish to establish peace with?
How is your voice heard if it’s fettered by vulgarities to those who you wish to reach out to?
How do you condemn violence while inciting it?
How do you expect the oppressed to set aside arms when you approach with an arsenal?
How do you turn your back on human beings imploring you to heed their cries?

A call to action.

Divide no more.
Partisan no more.
Absent representation no more.
Oppression no more.

I see you, I hear you, I feel you.
My brother, my sister, my person.
I am you and you are me.
We are them and they are us.
We stand together.
We seek peace, equality, freedom.
We strive for justice and absence of fear.

We demand leaders to stand up — not with guns and tear gas, but with pen and paper;
Not by screaming into the void, but by drafting an actionable plan.
We expect demonstrative change in legislature, in police force, in social programs.
We beg for the lives of us all.

Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.

Samantha M Rodriguez Samantha M Rodriguez (8 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

Samantha is a fourth-year medical student at Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine in Miami, Florida class of 2022. In 2016, she graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She enjoys yoga, going to the beach, and reading in her free time. After graduating medical school, Samantha plans to pursue a career in Pediatrics.