There’s always been problems
That much is a fact.
From the moment the pilgrims stepped foot on this land.
They were refugees
Fleeing from religious oppression
That made themselves a home
In the land of opportunity.
The land of the free? The home of the brave?
“the state of being subject to unjust treatment or control.”
A word that has plagued this country from the start.
Native Americans, the people who were here
Long before the Europeans
Had to suffer through the slaughter and displacement of their people.
Today they are met, on their own sacred land
By rubber bullets, and tear gas on the command
Of someone who can never fully understand
The trauma of a people who were stripped of everything.
But resilience lies in them
Like it lies in the African-Americans
Whose ancestors were picked off the shores of Africa
Like the cotton
They were then forced to pick by their oppressors.
We see it on the news everyday
How quickly a life can be taken away
A father, a son, a daughter, a wife
By someone who has no regard for life.
12 years old. 16 years old. 30 years old.
They should be alive,
They should be alive.
The home of the brave
Puts guns in the hands of people who are afraid
Of someone who is bigger, and darker than they are.
It shouldn’t be this way,
This isn’t the American dream.
But my dreams are stained
By the hellish nightmare that is reality.
A reality so ugly
Created by coming home
To the words “Go Away Terrorist”
Spray painted on the walls, at 9 years old.
A form of religious oppression.
The very thing people came here to escape.
But this is my home
Like it is the home of millions.
Hard working immigrants who left their lives behind
In search of something better.
The land of the free,
A place where the people have the power
To change the way we view ourselves
And each other.
There’s always been problems,
But problems can be fixed.
Change does not happen over night
We must make it happen
And a belief that we can be so much better than those who came before us.
The bright stars of our flag shine for everyone
Not just a select few.
We cannot give up, not now, not ever
We can make America great
But this will never happen
If all we do is spread hate.
Together we must stand, as one.
For this is what is known
As the land of opportunity.