In times of struggle, throughout decades of strife,
Those yearning for equity have often cried, “What harm does our desire for justice bring into your life?”
This message seldom heard and often preached, has woven its way through every great speech, every protest, every exasperated plea
Indeed those searching for equality often wonder
how their freedom could possibly cast any system’s good intentions asunder
time and time again they are stumped, it is a mystery to them,
this question the derivative of a multitude of spirituals and hymns
and although it may appear to the proletariat that their desires bring
forth no grief, there is scarcely space for everyone when an aristocracy
occupies the seats
The truth is this question leaves the affluent and privileged cowering
in their slave labor endorsing shoes, retreating to their luxurious estates far away,
Where they needn’t be bothered with the news
that the overlooked and underrepresented are sickened with their plight,
they no longer wish to kiss rings, they are now prepared to fight
to take up arms and make haste dismantling walls of discrimination
to forcibly inherit the rights promised to them upon their arrival to this nation
promises drenched in the blood of their ancestors, treaties long forgotten
behold their footsteps draw closer, they will no longer be downtrodden
they will set ablaze the castle walls, they will brave the treacherous moats
away they shall be carried upon clouds of blackened smoke
If they should succeed, if themselves they set free, an age of reckoning will commence
Arise, arise you ninety nine, down with the one percent!
For years complacent requests for freedom have fallen, disregarded by deaf ears
The time for diplomacy has descended, now dawns the era of tears
They demand their suffering discontinued, food in the mouths of their young
Not one more foreign country shall be invaded while citizens within our borders
live on crumbs
Not one more penny to the fortification of barricades
against fabricated wars, while veterans of those previous are abandoned in
poorly funded wards
Or better yet left to the streets to indulge in the splendor of old age
No more increase of the national debt while the lifeblood of our country
can’t make a cent above minimum wage
These are the new cries of the lowly, the non-negotiable declarations of the meek
It is no longer merely liberation, but reparations they seek

Sierra Bourne ’17

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