Fuck Silence Too

I wrote this poem on the day of the Pittsburgh shooting. It’s been out to submission, but I feel like it’s not something that can wait another six months to be said.

Today’s terrible shooting in New Zealand provokes the same feelings in me, and make the message all the more important. This is a poem about not staying silent about the rise of white supremacy. It can’t go unheard languishing in an editor’s inbox.

Fuck Silence Too


What more is there to say?
Another death, another day.
Another white man spraying fear,
Another closed politico ear.
We’re spoon fed empty thoughts and prayers
From empty-hearted millionaires.
I’d give a fortune of kind thoughts
For children’s bodies to unrot.


Today he entered holy ground
And brought a gun to burn it down.
This time it was a synagogue –
Immersed in Trump’s murderous fog,
Consumed by words to make him great ­–
Another Nazi, filled with hate.
But never name him plainly so,
To boldly aim is ‘shooting low’.

Lynchings now have catchy names;
They SWAT black bodies like a game.
I’m sick to my stomach with impotent grief
Too familiar with death for disbelief.
I’m an ocean away, but the problems are here,
And in every corner: fear, fear, fear.
Fuck Trump. Fuck guns. Fuck Nazi scum.
Fuck Brexit. Fuck TERFs. Fuck everyone.

Ro Smith, 27 October 2018

Remember: speak out. Condemn. Don’t amplify their message.

Don’t say their names. Don’t share their videos. Don’t share photos of their faces. Turn off media previews on Twitter to avoid unintentionally seeing or giving hits to the messages they hope will spread.

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