These are the days


MUKOMA WA NGUGI | SEPTEMBER 3RD, 2013

These are the days when a white man with a gun needs a license to shoot a deer but not to hunt a black teen through the streets of suburbia, or to kill a young black man for listening to loud music;

When police deputies are licensed to shoot a black man for committing the crime of retrieving cigarettes from his car outside his home in the middle of the night;

These are the days when corporations are people and people are commodities to be sold and outsourced in the open markets;

When the banks that build homes in quick sand get bailed out as the people sink deeper and deeper into joblessness, homelessness and debt;

These are the days when corporate America can tell American workers to stop complaining because they too would be part of the 1% percent if only they lived in Haiti, or Kenya or Uganda;

When on reality television undercover bosses in blue-collar overalls get to mime workers for a day, but workers never get to be the bosses for life;

These are the days when the revolutions we sprung eat their young in Egypt and Libya, and Obama keeps his cool but drones on about ################stan where he kills ################stani children to keep ours safe;

These are the days when the United States has to reassure Russia that it will not torture or kill US citizens seeking asylum in the Kremlin yet Guantanamo Bay remains open for business;

When we are told that truth can become a terrorist bomb in our midst and whistle blowers are enemies of the state;

These are the days when immigrants are enemies at the gate, the days of a black president whose smile is a façade, behind it hope for the powerful and wealthy and hopelessness and spare change for the poor;

These are the days of welcome to a post-racial transparent America unleashed. Please Watch your Step!


Mukoma wa Ngugi
Mukoma Wa Ngugi is an Assistant Professor of English at Cornell University, the author of Nairobi Heat (Melville, 2011) and Black Star Nairobi (Melville, 2013).