Searching For America

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1/21/2016

Bernie Sanders campaign premiered a new ad this morning like nothing I’ve seen before. The ad focuses on the social grass roots movement that has propelled Bernie to this point in the campaign and it got me thinking…

No mud was slung.
Just hearts filled
that sung…
Sung high to the heavens for a new day begun…
Some prayed for a home, a place to feel safe.
Some just centered themselves
meditating to end hate.
Some begged to be free of their chains and disdain
for a government that doesn’t know them by name.

We went searching for America
but it’s been hard to find
cuz you see it’s not defined
by the lines we’ve designed
of blue and of red
that divide
and divvy up
it’s made up of people
of families of schools
of Churches and Masjids
of Sikhs and of Jews
We source our DNA
from a plethora of hues
Our fathers and mothers
fled tyranny too
so why turn our backs
on those who cry out?

Is it because we assume
that
they’ll do to Us
what we did to those
who helped in the crux
As our survival hung
in the balance
a trust
was extended by
those who watched from the brush
as we invaded their home
first one ship then another
they could have watched as we froze
but their connection to the Mother
begged they shroud us from cold
In the years on we lost
in the lesson
as greed and fear blinded us so fiercely
to the blessing
that these
the original people bestowed on the
men who claim to have founded
a country they’d stolen

Are we afraid if we
admit we were wrong
we’ll have to reflect on
all of the harm
that building a country
on the backs of black slaves
yellow track layers
and brown bodied naves
has done to those people
and us in return…

Are we afraid if we acknowledge their
lives we have to then to
acknowledge the rights
we stripped away from them
to further or goals
further our boarders
but what of our souls?

We can rationalize with religion
blame Cain, Canaan or Babel
but as time unfolds are we really able
to forget?
White wash our books and that’s it?
Not quit
The thing with history most don’t get
we have a tricky way of always repeating it
So even after we’ve let loose the shackles
hung a plaque
said some words
we aren’t any better till we break from the heard
stop insisting we once had a land that was “great”
that was built on fine values of inclusion and faith

That time is a myth
It did not exist
There’s always been scapegoats
And muckrackers too
Don’t think I’d leave out those who chose to tell truth

For without those small torches
and people with pens
and the dirty conditions that reflected the lens
If none chose to stand
If all felt content
to suffer in squalor not fit for humans
If people laid down
and just took what they got
If they never died to vote
If they never charged and fought
If we all just stayed silent
as Young boys are shot
as the Climate gets hot
as our dreams deferred rot

Then that crystal stair in Harlem would shatter in shards
slaying the unsung who folded his cards

We went searching for America
and we marched until
we reached roads end
and we’re marching still

We haven’t yet found what we’re looking for
But would be American if we searched no more?

Bi: Lauren Croom

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