my family in the Islands. When I was young, they spoke that Spanish at home.
then you can speak Spanish?
I don’t speak that mess, man.
don’t know what they are saying. That Spanish mess,
(expletive) Spanish, man. So you got Spanish blood?
my great grandfather was white, too. Irish!
You got some Irish too? (Expletive).
you don’t have that much Black in you.
(expletive), I got some of everything.
the store’s glass window, a tall, dark brown-skinned
man stands next to a white man, shorter in statue. Both
are young, workers or possibly out of work. The one
pleased to learn that the other did not place much value
on the Black blood running through his veins,
is smiling. The not-so-Black, Black man, is not.
is what harmony looks like in a capitalist society
like ours here in the U.S.
the same two young men should decide to exercise their
rights to free speech and protest in front of this store,
if the two, identifying themselves, let us say, as Occupy
Wall Street (OWS) protesters, enter this same store
and, without guns or sticks, demand its closure and
proceed to replace it by building a community-owned
market, if, even, they enter the store to demanded the
rights of its workers to unionize and receive living
wage, if these men remain “non-violent,” their actions
would still be considered subversive - violent.
is what the dissent by the oppressed looks like.
one smiling would be reprimanded while the other might
be murdered. And this we call equality in the
U.S., the oppression of democracy.
for these two men, gainful employment is not to be found
because the accumulation of profits for the Nikes, Wal-Mart,
Apples and Microsofts demands these corporations’ bottom
lines substitute union workers in the U.S. for workers
in China and India, then these two young men, of course,
could go to war - and defend democracy.
any place: Iraq, Afghanistan,
- Iran, maybe soon? If these
two men survive combat, yet sustain mental and/or physical
injuries, medical attention might be problematic. In
fact, the medical attention they do receive is certain
to be short term and inadequate. If the men are still
unable to find work and face the possibility of homelessness,
if one or both are fathers, how would they act on learning
that they are non-persons and they always were
non-persons, while Lockheed Martin and General Electric
and others, are persons. How would they respond
to learn finally that these persons have the right to
fund the campaigns of politicians who, in turn, must
defend the rights of the corporations, or risk
losing their political lives while corporate executives
enjoy life, liberty, in pursuit of their happiness?
our two young men return in coffins, the steel-like
“patriotism” of wartime counselors, generals, and presidents,
will be represented by the metals decorating the uniforms
concealing the horrific wounds they sustained and the
local press will print the word “hero” alongside their
names. But only family and the community of friends
and neighbors speak of “love” and their humanity.
it will not matter then if one perceives the other as
less Black, less threatening and the other, then. An
American flag will drape the Black man’s coffin, too.
the “Black” president will continue to speak of “smart”
drones because he is a “smart” man and solitary confinement
or coffins is all the same means of keeping Goldman
Sachs and Larry Summers in pursuit of life, liberty
and happiness. Barrack Obama collected, last year alone,
220 million dollars for his war chest, mostly from super
PACs and independent groups (Huffington Post,
January 12, 2012). Our two young men behind me, “alive,”
would defend Obama.