William Santos, Staff Writer

Note: William wrote this poem to submit to the 2020 Fighting Words Poetry Contest hosted by the Pulitzer Center. The poem is a response to the article “‘They Believe We’re Criminals’: Black Puerto Ricans Say They’re a Police Target”.



By William Santos

The police in Puerto Rico are racist.

Entering into a shop, i have eyes on me 24/7

Once i leave i’m asked to be searched

cause i’m black. 

they don’t do anything to my friends or to white people

My friends just leave me behind, thinking i am gonna be okay. 


i say nooo, don’t search me

They say let’s go down to the station.

Locked in a jail cell, away from home.

Won’t let me have one phone call.


i’m alone.

i’m afraid

i’m scared of what’s gonna happen next.

Friends not wondering where i am at. Not caring.


Police out here thinking I’m not human, not normal.

Not caring if another fellow black person dies.

What happens if it was the other way around, would they care then?