Hands Up, Don't Shoot

by Vicente Hernandez

 Hands up
Don't shoot
Hands up
Don't shoot
Hands up
Don't shoot 
Hands up......

His hands
Screamed louder than sirens
In attempt to save his soul,
Were shaking in fear
That the bullets now entering 
His body would try to 
Remove that gorgeous smile of his off his face 
and make a beautiful outline
Of him on the side streets.

How many chalk outlines
Of our black men 
Will it take for us to realize 
That they are trying to paint our futures for us
Yet, we were never
Designed to be something that can be washed away with the rain 
See our hearts are monuments
With a bronze like armor of a skin
That was passed down from kings 
We are royalty
Yet, they see us as less than
But I mean they say to be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage
So I bet Mike Brown's eyes bled with passion 
When he seen this scene of a modern day racist moment in history take place in front of him

I bet he resonated so well with a man of some odd  two thousand years ago 
With outstretched hands who was crucified too
For being exactly who he said he was 
A child of God 
I mean we are all humans
Sinners falling short of the glory of God
So what makes you think you're the judge when you're merely the bailiff
A man with a gun
That's suppose to be upholding the standard of this world
But in stead 
You choose to let your gun
Spray like rain
In your misconstrue idea of baptism 
How dare you try to exterminate us?

And what makes you see death and sinner making love in our flesh
When you look at us
What makes this black skin scream target and makes us seem so intimidating
Then deem yourself as executioner 
But this body was never made 
To be a playground for your authority
When will you ever learn the value of life 

And honestly 
I’ve been literally screaming at the page
But this is not a hate poem
Just one filled with anger wondering how long will the cycle of death have to continue 
One sick and tired of being scared for my nephews life as he walks down the street 
A child who doesn't believe in racism
But sees the world as a pure beautiful snow globe of passion
And how so often I think how naive he is
Yet, wish we could all learn to speak and see like he
And that maybe one day we can learn to walk in peace together
And our hands will never have to scream at the top of their digits
To save our lives 
as if they ever could

But seeing as how 5 unarmed black men have been kicked in the last few weeks
I fear we have quite the race battle ahead of us

But I am praying though
That God will help us realize these senseless deaths won't get us anywhere
Also that He will heal the hearts of the families of our lost brothers 
And that maybe one day 
We will all have a better understanding of the meaning of protect and serve 

Hands up, don't shoot 
‘Cause we want to live...

Author's Note:
Hands Up, Don't Shoot is a spoken word piece dedicated to Michael Brown 
who was murdered by the police while he was unarmed on August 9, 2014. 
An audio of this piece can be found on youtube at:


Hands Up, Don't Shoot by Vicente Hernandez

© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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