This past week, I have discussed with college students the time I was wrongly arrested and harassed by an Islamophobic Sheriff Deputy several years ago, which led to a successful court case against my county spearheaded by the ACLU. I opened up the discussion with the following religiously feminist spoken word piece I wrote:
Mr. Big Man
You told me what to write, word for word for word for word in my statement,
To get me caught up in your trickery is what you meant,
Acting like you were my friend,
Just so that you could win,
Me over and dictate the stroke of my pen,
You had questions like: Why do you cover? Why would you choose Islam?
I told you that into this din I was born and I hold fast to it by my own choosing,
The disgust in your pores oozing,
As you berated me with your hatred,
Not realizing that my mission is sacred,
Much like the oath to which you’ve sworn,
In that khaki and green uniform,
Like a mix of dust and dreams gone torn,
Against the wings of a butterfly hijab with which I was adorned.
Your eyes so full of uncontained hate,
That your tongue can’t help but re-create,
The lies you have chosen to believe
Helping to achieve
Your sense of supremacy
Without regard for decency
Or even pretending to
be a real man, Mr. Big Man.
Yeah, in those moments you abused your power
Sending me through a locked down tower
Not foreseeing the final hour,
In which you’d be called to answer,
For the cancer,
Living inside your mind causing you
to trample on my religious right,
Conjuring my ancestors up for the fight,
For the battle that would ensue,
As the court document was served upon you, Mr.
Thinking you can,
Do as you please,
Then trying to hide,
Then escape the tide,
And the ride,
You took me on thinking I’d cry and let it slide.
Mr. Big Man
I didn’t shoot the sheriff or the deputy,
And I wanna thank you for helping me
Fulfill one of my destinies
To change the county’s policies
And be able to see,
That other women remain free,
To let their hijabs flow,
Faces infused with a natural glow,
And not uncover
In front of another
No, this will not happen to another,
So, I thank you Mr. Big Man, Mr. Deputy.
Jameelah X. Medina, Ph.D., is an educator, author, and orator. Her latest book, ABCs of Living a Good Life: 26 Things I’ve Learned along the Way, is available for free on her website:www.jameelahmedina.com. She is also the owner and operator of Dr. J’s Apothecary where she makes all-natural products for health and wellness.