by Dale Wisely, June 1, 2020
This Council of white people and Mizz Gladys…looks like Mizz Gladys is having a little nap, so let’s not disturb her…we want to hear your complaint. We want to welcome our citizens of color. That’s what we say now, isn’t it? Of color? You all forgive us because we are old and out of touch with the latest thing you people want to be called. You all confuse us! Heh.
Now, your grievance. I know you will understand that the articles of your grievance must be properly formatted. We welcome your protest, but you know we have to proceed according to our by-laws. Our rules are necessary. These are law and order. Laws of order. We are going to go ahead and overlook that your document of agony is not double-spaced. Aren’t we now, members of the Council? We’re willing to overlook that just this once? Yes, of course we are. We feel like we owe you that. Now, Mr. Simmons! Over there by the dozing Mizz Gladys. I need you to be with us on this. Okay. The council will accept Mr. Simmons’s angry nod as his consent to you good people overlooking double-spacing.
But I am sure you’ll understand that it will have to be notarized. We can go ahead and talk about it tonight in this meeting, but we will not be able to formally receive your complaint because it’s not been notarized. If you all need help with understanding “notarized,” it involves a seal. Someone sees you sign your name or your mark (They will help you. They will say “sign here”) and then they use that seal to squeeze your grievance. You sign. We seal. You need our seal. Then we seal your needs. See, there’s no seal. There is blood. Is this blood? There can never be enough blood to satisfy our requirements.
Now you have to work with us on this. Just a few more things before you bring your scars and…what is this? Your tears of fury before this Council. We have no whips here. No need to warn your boys about us. Not in here. We have no knees on your necks. We aren’t kneeling on you.
And speaking of kneeling, we can’t have y’all kneeling during the Pledge of Allegiance. We have to ask that the next time you bring your list of complaints about being, what is this? bought and sold, enslaved, whipped, tortured, lynched, and murdered, that you do join us at the beginning of the meeting and face the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance. This is not the time for kneeling. Praying is the time for kneeling and the federal government, as you all know, has forced us to remove God from our meetings. But, you don’t want to disrespect the flag. A lot of people died to protect that flag. Some were…what where they…people of colors. All kinds of colors. Black and red and brown and white and orange and purple and polka dot…it doesn’t matter because the only colors that matter are red, white, and blue. What do they say about those colors, Mr. Simmons? Something about not bleeding? Oh, not running. That’s right, Mr. Simmons. Those colors don’t run. There is no brown and no black in this room. No white either. Well, there is but there’s not. Y’all know what I mean. Think of us right now as not being white. But white’s a color and that’s what I don’t understand about this color talk. No offense. I want you all to teach us about all this. Someday soon.
Stand up straight next time, please, with your hand over your heart during the Pledge. Your hand over your heart. All your hands over all your hearts. Are y’all hip to what I’m saying? You know, my granddaughter makes fun of me when I make those quotation marks in the air. She rolls those eyes at me! I have a picture of her here. 9th grade. Cheerleader. Y’all want to see it? No? Suit yourself.
We have customs, too, about proper dress at these council meetings, but that’s okay, that’s okay. Of course, the members of this council—we’ll go ahead and wear appropriate clothing but you folks are fine. Don’t worry about it. That’s another thing we are willing to overlook. We have only love and acceptance. This Council, we love our people of color. Our minorities. Look at Mizz Gladys! Don’t wake her. Just look at her!
We are here to help you. But formatting. Seals. Formatting of grievances. Spacing. Proper ways of grieving your, uh, grievances.
I don’t mean to belabor this.
And I believe we are out of time.
Dale Wisely edits Right Hand Pointing, One Sentence Poems, Unlost Journal, and Unbroken Journal.