I am reviewing this on behalf of "WdC SuperPower Reviewers Group" . This is your second Mad Hatter's review.
Please remember these views are purely my own and any advice is given with the sole intention of being helpful.
First Impressions: Wow. This is powerful stuff. Your title drew me to this poem. However, as I read through the whole poem, the passion with which you write, particularly near the end, makes this title seem a little lacklustre. I can't think of another way to say it. It just feels like it would be better with an impassioned statement or plea. Because this poem is about passion and injustice and subjects that stir up a lot of emotion. Or, even, if you chose just one word that stands out, like, "Unchecked,' for example. Something a bit edgy that will pique your readers' interest.
Voice/Tone: Your voice comes across clearly in this poem. Your words call for people to end their prejudices that are based on things as ridiculous as the colour of one's skin. You ask us to try to understand what it is like to grow up facing this on a daily basis. But, all the time, you are speaking of how the world is changing, and now is the time to act to make things more equal. The whole poem is like a rally cry, a call to arms if need be. Your voice sounds angry, and rightly so. It is compelling, and the passion is very powerful.
Mechanics: I don't think this is a set form, except that it follows the rhythm of Savage Garden's 'Affirmation.' The rhythm is spot on. It all flows nicely. I like the rhyme scheme of aabbcc ddeeff, etc. It gives the poem a fluid feeling. When I read it aloud, it sounded good.
My Favourite Part: These two lines are so, so good: "This is not 'agree to disagree' like what brand of cola you select, / this is that moment where no longer can evil go unchecked." I love that metaphor of something as ordinary as your favourite brand of cola. It reminds us how much this kind of hatred and racism is in our society. It is everywhere, and people who aren't born as privileged as we were have to live with it constantly. When the Black Lives Matter movement first became big last year, I tried to put myself in the shoes of a young, black man who runs from the sight of a police officer even though he has done nothing wrong. I tried to imagine how his experiences would cause him to do that, and I my conclusion was: I could never imagine that because I am a white woman in the UK. But, back to your poem. I love that idea of evil no longer going unchecked. I wish we could get to that place, but I think we have a long road ahead of us. You're right, though, to sit back and do nothing, no matter how small, puts you on the side of those who do wrong by your complicity. Something like writing this poem is a great way to help to raise awareness and to make people examine their own lives.
Suggestions: I only have one minor suggestion. This is entirely up to whether you want to change or not. Each time I read this poem, I stumble over this line: "Some ask the 'why now?' question, some stuck on 'but why me?'" The "stuck on" part doesn't sound right. I think it's because "stuck" doesn't work in this tense. I would maybe change it to, "some stick on 'but why we?'" Or, maybe, "stick with."
This is a great poem. It is filled with passion, and it is emotive. Plus, it's really well written. Your language is perfect for the subject matter, and you maintain a great rhythm and rhyme scheme. What more can I say? I love it.