Watched, Then Ignored-A Day in the Life of a Black Consumer

I am not invisible

I see you, you see me

I am not invisible

Like you make me out to be

When you look past me

When I’m clearly next in line

I feel that disrespect

It’s not all in my mind

Stop ignoring me

And putting me behind

Avoiding eye contact

Does not mean you’re blind

I notice it when

My food comes out last

When those who came later

Get their orders fast

I know you don’t mean it

When corrected on the matter

Your apology is weak

You don’t even sound sadder

And another thing

That just needs to stop

Is the way you profile me

Whenever I shop

When you watch me more closely

Than all of the others

There’s only one difference

Between me and those mothers

And you follow my children

To see what they touch

As if for their wallet

Everything is too much

You look as if they have

No business there

You watch them, you whisper

You follow and stare

You’re surprised when you see

How they act, what they’ve said

You’ve forgotten, like you

That their blood is red

And yes, they’re articulate

In the words that they’ve spoken

So, surprise to you,

Their home was not broken

Their money was worked for

Their credit is good

Whether they wear a suit

Or a shirt with a hood

They’ve graduated high school

And gone on to college

They’re smart and they’re full of

Good wisdom and knowledge

Black people aren’t see-through

Not clear, they’re opaque

We’re real live people

Our feelings aren’t fake

We have the same rights

We work for a living

We deserve far more

Respect than you’re giving

So, the next time you see us

And don’t know what to do

Treat us as your equal

Treat us like we’re you.

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