Poet Porsche Kelly Performs 'Jokes'

Porsche Nicole Kelly

Porsche Nicole Kelly is an Oakland based motivational speaker, poet and author of the book, 2 Kinds of Fire. For this week's episode of Rightnowish, I step back and let the wordsmith speak to us as only she can, through her poetic critique of race in society in the form of her poem, "Jokes."  The poem grapples with cases of police brutality and white nationalist violence. Do what you need to take care of yourself.

You can follow Porsche Nicole Kelly at "ThePoeticActivist" on Instagram.


Editor's Note:  Below you'll find Porsche's poem "Jokes." Please note there are slight differences in the recorded performance and the poem written below.

Jokes

by Porsche Nicole Kelly

So a guy walks into a bar
A duck walks into a bar
A priest, a rabbi, and a minister walk into a bar
A white man with a glock walks into a church
A white man with a handgun walks into an elementary school
A middle school
A high school
A college
A white man with a shotgun, a rifle, and a handgun walks into a theater.
A white man with rifles walks into a Las Vegas hotel
A white man with Nia Wilson's name on his knife walks into BART
A white man with 2 chainsaws walks into BART
A white man with an assault rifle & 3 handguns walks into a Jewish synagogue
A black boy with skittles and tea walks down the street & is killed
A black man with a cellphone is killed
A black man with cigarettes is killed
A black man with a license to carry is pulled over and killed
A black man with a security badge is mistaken for a suspect and killed
A black woman with mental illness is killed
A black woman with child is killed
A black woman with video games is killed
All of these are jokes but none of them are funny

A woman with a hijab looks like a terrorist
A man with a turban looks like a terrorist
A white man with khakis does not look like a terrorist
An immigrant is a threat to this country
Kaepernick's knee is a threat to this country
White men are never a threat to this country
America is on the other side of broken knock knock jokes
Knock knock
Who's there
Justice
Justice who
Knock knock
Who's there
Compassion
Compassion who
Knock knock
Who's there
Truth
Truth who
Because what is justice or compassion or truth to a nation built on the backs of others
America is the comedian who's been in the game for decades and still ain't funny
Tells the worst jokes known to mankind then gets mad when you don't laugh
America is the comedian who's been in the game for decades and still ain't funny
Tells the worst jokes known to mankind then gets mad when you don't laugh
America is the attention thirsty class clown who thinks disrupting a history lesson is humorous
Gets kicked out of class only to come back the next day and do it all over again
America sang Donald Glover's lyrics long before he even wrote them
Its version of This Is America smiles like a Purge mask
America is the perverted Uncle who still gets to be a part of the family
See everybody knows how disgusting he is but the unaffected don't say nothing

Have you heard the one about the immigrant
Spends his blood, sweat, and tears escaping to the American Dream
Only to arrive & be told he can no longer be a dreamer
Have you heard the one about the pre-teen
Has just enough black to be seen as old enough to have a body become home to bullet wounds
Have you heard the one about the face the American flag represents
Commits mass murders
But with the exception of suicide usually has just enough Macaulay Culkin to keep him alive at the scene of the crime
Have you heard the one about the patriot
Claims all lives matters
But only supports the thin blue line and not the lives they've taken
Have you heard the one about the nation
Turns its back on injustice
Then gets offended when you don't sing their favorite song
Like a child who hits all the other kids on the playground
Then wonders why don't nobody wanna play with him

A racist walks into the oval office
Becomes president and encourages his followers to come out of hiding
They agree on things like building walls to keep people out of land that they stole
As they wear red hats that suggest the time during Jim Crow, or the Chinese Exclusion Act
Or any other law that deemed non whites as less than human
Made this nation great
All of these are jokes
But none of them are funny

Rightnowish is an arts and culture podcast produced at KQED. Listen to it wherever you get your podcasts or click the play button at the top of this page and subscribe to the show on NPR One, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

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