When Virginia Governor Northam
said indentured servants
instead of slaves,
I felt my blood pressure rise
until my head blew steam out my ears
like I was some cartoon character
dancing next to Bugs Bunny in black face,
who sang Al Jolson minstrel songs
in the Virginia state house,
oblivious to N-double-A-C-P members
ring-tossing shackles at Northam’s neck,
a crude carnival game
next to a stall where player-operated squirt guns
erased the word privilege from a white board
of governors down through Virginia’s history
all the way back to Sir George Yeardley.
copyright © 2019 Kenneth P. Gurney
This interview and event took place a little over a month ago. At first, I was too pissed off to write anything on the subject. A few days went by and this poem popped out.
My writing process takes about a month from poem conception, through editing, trying it out loud, more editing, then posting the good ones.
The Bugs Bunny in black face cartoon is what was banned and removed from Youtube. I remember seeing it as a kid on Saturday morning cartoons.
Sir George Yeardley was the British governor of Virginia Colony when the first slaves were delivered by ship in August 1619.