To Remember

I remember slavery
It's waxed into my mind
Made lyrical by the screams of my ancestors
Taught and passed down generation by generation
Through gospels and hymns begging to be acknowledged
I remember slavery

I remember Operation Wetback
Driven by the United States to dispose of
To rape, humiliate, hate
Those different with brown skin
Raised by reddened welts and swollen blood
With families split apart by the Land of the Free
I remember Operation Wetback

I remember the hate against those with light skin and slanted eyes
Signs reading No Chinese or Dogs Allowed
Pushed into places happily entitled “camps”
Because freedom came at the price of sacrifice
I remember the hate

I do not remember a great America
I remember glimpses
I remember glimpses of a great America that lasted too little
Took too long to appear, destroyed by the actions of the hateful

I would rather remember how America is, was, and has always been
Than fantasize about what privileged America remembers

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