Thursday, November 19, 2009

We Can. We Will. (NBPM#17)

I post this in solidarity with UCLA students arrested and even tasered while protesting a 32% fee hike today. As background, I wrote this poem back in the depressing days of Bush in office, before I had ever heard of Barack Obama and his "Yes, We Can" slogan, after attending the 2007 Manzanar Pilgrimage and Manzanar After Dark program.
We Can. We Will.
dedicated to and inspired by mari, traci & tad

Today in the sun, my 2 year old ate watermelon and collected rocks at Manzanar. Too hot for a 2 year old, I thought. Tonight, After Dark, I witnessed the passion, heat & intensity of 250 people both young and old, eager to learn, hear, share, speak, heal…
Then later in the after-madness, I heard my sistah Mari say:
The president is never going to listen. To. Me.
Maybe not.
But We.
We have power.
We can change things.
We have the power.
We can start a boycott.
We can start ethnic studies.
We can rise up in the fields.
We can sit down at the front of the bus.
Not because we’re tired, but because enough is enough.
We can stop a jail in Little Tokyo.
We can fight redress.
We can write a poem.
We can make a film.
We can write a column.
We can. We will. We have the will.
We can start a letter writing campaign.
We can do our own petition. Online, myspace, mass email, in the paper.
We can organize the students, Nikkei, JA, Hapa, Latino/a, Chicano/a, Black, Muslims, gay, straight, transgender.
Mari also said:
It’s not just me.
There are a lot more people like me behind me.
They’re going to come here.
They’re going to be asking questions.
(It’s not a threat. It’s a fact.)
We have the power. We have the Baka guts*.
We can. We will.
manzanar, ca.
* Baka guts in reference to Manzanar Committee Chair Sue Kunitomi Embrey's family phrase about having the courage and guts to stand up for what you believe in, no matter what it is (baka in Japanese is stupid/idiot).



z. said...

I got a little chill! :)

Anonymous said...

"We can. We will." --you just did!

Excellent poem.


Jenni said...

Thanks honey!