and you call this free?

In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue

The Native Americans called this place home, but they were not free to continue on

They were not free to stay where they had been

They were not free to stay where their ancestors had once lived

They were not free to live a life they had known

Able to choose what to believe and call this place home

And you call this free?

They built over their homes, put oil in their water

Just so they could make an extra dollar

Even when they promised them land

They only took it in the end

And you call this free?

I think to myself how in first grade, I put my hand over my heart and said what I had been taught to say

I wonder now what “liberty and justice for all,” really means when you kill black men for walking down the street

How can you look me in the eye and tell me why?

America, how can you call this free?   

I see your strategies, your “War on Drugs”

It’s lingo like this that makes it easy to criminalize people as “thugs”

But can you look at me after all I have said

And tell me you can be free, even if you aren’t a white man?

I look at this country and I see all that it could be

I see the change we need; I see what I hope America should be

But we cannot do this without a dialogue, to create understanding and unity

We cannot do this with a government that holds conflicts of interests and uses America to only make money

Make America Great Again – a slogan I’m too familiar with seeing

When the people with those hats don’t even know what they represent

America was not great when it took the land from the people that had lived here for centuries

Saying that they didn’t belong here and tried to kick they as far West

And you want to go back?

America was not great when it burned flags because of complexion of someone’s skin

Saying they weren’t good enough because of the pigment they lacked

And you want to go back?

America was not great when it invaded other countries for its own beliefs

Putting people in power while the citizens wept

And you want to go back?

No, America was has not always great

We cannot go back

What can make America great is creating dialogue

It can be great by educating citizens to use their voice; by educate citizens on the real history

Not overwriting textbooks to make it always seem

That America has been great throughout everything

One day I hope that my children can come home

And tell me about how liberty and justice is for everybody

And that it’s not just determined on the religion you practice

Or the complexion you hold

Or the way you chose to love someone

It is because you are an American

And you are free to be whatever you want to be 

This poem is about: 
My country

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