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Friday, May 12, 2023


by Judy Juanita

California is moving forward with its effort to compensate and apologize to Black residents for harm caused by discriminatory policies over generations after the state’s reparations task force voted to approve recommendations Saturday. —USA Today, May 10, 2023

“I can tell you from a psychological perspective that if you take $350,000 or $840,000, and you write a check to any group of people, Black, white, poor, homeless, whatever, you give any group of people that much money and say,” There you go, best of luck,’ you come back in six months, they’re going to be broke,” he said. “Whatever reparations are done, that would be an absolute disaster, as opposed to guidance and help in creating generational wealth, as opposed to income.”

Screw Dr. Phil. I will blow mine wisely
(because the cancer of oppression goes deep)
And furthermore, f**k Dr. Phil
who pimped out Oprah
made $20 mill off her 
and off pimping out people's raw emotional trauma
and has the nerve to say Blacks would go crazy
if we got reparations
NEWSFLASH: We already crazy
The idea of getting our just due 
for the ancestors  
is mind-boggling 
for us and everyone else 
(because the cancer of oppression goes so deep)
And further, further, furthermore, 
if we spend every single penny of it
let's say 400 billion (1619-2019=400 years)
on Land Rovers, Lamborghinis, Louboutin
diamonds and pearls, lavish weddings
gambling in Vegas, Macau, Monte Carlo
yachts, gold-carriage funerals, mansions
lavish baby showers, the luxury life
Gucci, Rolex, trips around the world
why should any single nonblack be upset?
It would snake its way back to their pockets. 
(because the cancer of oppression goes that deep) 

Judy Juanita's latest book of poetry Gawdzilla looks at racism and capitalism side-by-side with the beauty and freedom of California. Her poetry collection Manhattan my ass, you're in Oakland  won the American Book Award 2021 from the Before Columbus Foundation. Her semi-autobiographical novel Virgin Soul is about a young woman who joins the Black Panther Party in the 60s (Viking, 2013). Her collection of essays DeFacto Feminism: Essays Straight Outta Oakland [EquiDistance, 2016] examines race, gender, politics and spirituality, as experienced by a black activist and self-described "feminist foot soldier." Winner of the Tartt Fiction Prize at the University of West Alabama [UWA], her short story collection The High Price of Freeways was published by Livingston Press in 2022. [UWA] in July, 2022.