Time Come – Give the Knee to Structural Racism by Raquel Mckee

Time Come – Give the Knee to Structural Racism

By Raquel McKee

I stand with you today applauding those who see the knee for what it is. Not only the weapon in George Floyd’s murder, but also a symbol of the nonchalance of systemic / structural racism. I applaud all whose presence here is echoing the warning: we will not sit back in silence.

Time come.
It come, it come, it come.
Time come.

I stand here as one born and raised in paradise – in the Caribbean- where though the motto is ‘out of many one people’ the residue of colonialism still whispers

‘White? Yuh alright.

Brown? Stick around.

Black step back.’

Drilled into the status quo of commonwealth till we don’t even notice it anymore. But I challenge you with a new song, today:

Ubuntu needs you. Ubuntu needs me. I need you to be, to be the better me.

Time come.
It come, it come, it come.
Time come.

Critical mass of consciousness of the pandemic of racism
Stifling the breath of humanity.
Ubuntu choked on the concrete of status quo,
Of development,
Of luxury.
We can’t breathe…
Can’t generate impulse and movement
Productivity and future
Until we give the knee to racism.

Time come.
It come, it come, it come.
Time come.

This moment.
Charged with the static of
Distancing,
Disturbia,
and Demonstration
electrifies our will
to speak,
to act,
to change what comes after.

So that George Floyd’s life may not be in vain, we give the knee to racial profiling, and to so many other forms of structural racism.
Let’s give the knee to racism. Join me, kneeling and saying

Time come.
It come, it come, it come.

Time come.* *Credit to Rev Marvia Lawes (Sligoville Baptist church, Jamaica) for the refrain ‘Time Come’.

Raquel McKee, originally from Jamaica, is a poet, singer-songwriter, actress, storyteller, teacher and writer. She has performed at Stormont, Derry/Londonderry, The Mac and Belfast City Hall, Dublin, as well as online.  Her work has appeared in a number of publications including Four x Four anthology and Writing Home anthology. Raquel volunteers with ACSONI and has worked as a facilitator for Community Arts Partnership’s Poetry in Motion Project and as a researcher on CAP’s Intercultural project, PICAS. She can be contacted at raquelsmckee@gmail.com and @MckeeRaquel on Twitter.  

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