Why Do They Hate Me?

Written by Denise O Austin

Illustrated by Shazmeen Khalid

*Below this poem are resources for petitions, protests and places to donate*

I’m tired of wanting to be free 

and no, I’m not referring to self isolating during covid-19

I’m not referring to white america protesting because they’re bored of quarantine 

I’m talking about institutionalized racism, discrimination and police brutality 

I’m talking about the white man’s wickedness which strangles us in captivity

I stare at my skin in the mirror trying to fathom “why do they hate me?”

As I do, a tear drops for our children that they want to kill before they turn seventeen 

R.I.P Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery 

and those who didn’t make it to our screens 

I’m sorry we couldn’t protect you when you cried and screamed 

“Please… please… I can’t breathe” 

I’m sorry to the families having to bury their loved ones 

Because the KKK was administered police badges and shot guns

And I know my sorry can’t erase the damage that’s been done 

My heart bleeds knowing you’re at a loss and they’ve won 

Knowing there’s nothing that I can do to relieve your pain 

And despite all the calls for justice your life won’t ever be the same 

I’m sorry you have to see that murderers name 

Plastered across the media like it’s their fifteen minutes of fame

Your life was so much more than what they try to reduce you to 

So we will fight on earth until your reparations are no longer due

Longing that thy neck would be relieved from the cord of his servitude.

The Author

Denise O Austin is a British writer, model and designer from London. Austin has attained a degree in Criminology and expresses her passion for institutionalized racism within the Criminal Justice System through her literature and activism. 


Twentyhood urges you to sign petitions and donate. If you are covid symptom free and feel able to, you can attend the protests below. Please see below for some resources and continue the research.










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Resource edits given by Stephanie Kleanthous

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