Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature, culture & the arts

Rebel Call

by I.V.


You ask me to be peaceful
And to be non-violent
You tell me to be submissive
And to keep my thoughts to myself
How can I be quiet
How can I be peaceful
When my dignity and humanity
Have been stripped away
My only option is to rebel

Were they peaceful 500 years ago
When invaders came to my land
Stole everything from my people
And killed my brothers and sisters
Were they peaceful
When they burned tortured and beheaded 
And took our native women
Degrading and raping mothers and sisters
For their own amusement

Were they peaceful when they took away our language
Forcing indigenous people to hate themselves and their skin
Taking our humanity and leaving us strangers
Foreigners in our own land
How dare you ask me to be peaceful
When you are able to learn
About your culture and history
After stealing my identity

Stole the headdress of Moctezuma
Stole our codices
Stole our gold and minerals
Demonized our gods
How can you ask me to be peaceful
When fighting for clean water is a crime
How can I be peaceful
When you broke every single treaty made by my brothers and sisters

You killed thousands of my native brothers
At Wounded Knee and Sand Creek
It’s too late to be peaceful
It’s time to stand against greedy men
It’s time to rebel against racism and discrimination
Homophobia, xenophobia
We can’t be peaceful when we are fighting for our survival
The only thing left is to rebel
I will be a rebel