By Button Poetry
AP & Korso, performing at Rustbelt 2019 in St. Louis, MO.
Transcript provided by YouTube:
See the world loves to ask really important questions,
– Like I matter. – Like it matters.
I am everyone’s favorite guessing game.
Oh, dude, you gotta let me touch your hair.
Like my body is oddity, carnival attraction, sideshow,
foreign animal freak for the white folks to gawk at,
for their kids to poke at.
I never really understood why they think
they can just reach out and grab like that.
Oh, that’s just show biz, baby, and we’re on display,
but something’s wrong with the screen
’cause they can’t tell what they’re watching.
More importantly, can we say the n-word to you?
After all, I’d hate to use the wrong racial slur when talking to you.
Because people decide my race first and how to treat me second.
But remember, they don’t see color.
If you don’t see color, then riddle me this.
If not, is it because he’s impure?
Does his melanin taint your America?
your sweet melting pot of patriotism?
You know that’s really funny symbolism, right?
– The melting pot? – Yeah.
Because chocolate melts, milk just kind of boils over,
colonizing your countertop.
Yeah, you know, hoping to turn it into…
Sour cream, kefir, yogurt.
Honestly, anything with a little culture.
If only they knew which one.
Ooh, well, I know what I am.
I’m part nervous when a car that looks like a cop gets behind me.
Oh, I’m part “Are you even legal?” on my mother’s side.
Well, I’m half “Sir, can we see your receipt?”
You can really see it in my hoodie.
Oh, but mostly I’m “Ma’am, do you speak English?”
Well, yes, it is my second language.
But assumptions are my native tongue.
Assuming our recipe for curly hair is more than just add water.
Assuming our race outweighs our experiences.
Assuming we don’t understand them
when they ask, “But what are you?”
– So they repeat it, but what are you? – Chameleon.
– Yes, but what is your heritage? – Mixed.
– Yes, but where are you from? – America.
– What is your family? – Proud.
– What are you really? – Tired of this question!
I am proud of my features and from where they have traveled.
I just wish people would ask me something else.
Like what makes you happy?
What’s your favorite color?
Or maybe what’s your name?
This post was previously published on YouTube and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.
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Photo credit: Screenshot from video
The post AP and Korso – ‘What Are You?’ [Video] appeared first on The Good Men Project.