Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

…And Social Justice For ALL

May 16, 2012

It takes a movement to make masses of minds mold together at the same time

From labor to LGBT rights

And from ACT UP to Civil Rights

The need to prove our humanity has withstood the test of time

From the beginning of time we have occupied all streets

Fighting for the rights of our babies so in peace they can all sleep

Our love of liberty made the Egyptian scarab sing for the Arab spring

Because the time is always right to do right…so said a King

We waged wars of words for Wagner acts

Laboring laboriously for those looking to live off of our backs

And now we gloriously gleam with the light of our freedom

Knowing too many still live in the dark…but we see them

From the classroom to the metro, when we look back in retro

We see human beings who grasped at freedom and wouldn’t let go

Moving as one we make mole hills out of mountains of societal injustice

Knowing in the end that all we have and need is just us

From Ohio to Cairo and from Colombia to Congo

When the people choose to lead, the leaders will follow

It only takes 1% of the people to push for change

But luckily we have the 99% fed up with the game,

Fed up with living in shame,

Fed up with being the blame,

Fed up with being pawns in a big business chess game

So we declare checkmate on corporate kings

Because we know all too well why the caged bird sings

We know all too well what liberation brings

Equality under the law

Whether we believe in Jesus or Allah

Denying equal rights to everyone is humankind’s biggest flaw

But as long as there is inequality there will be we

The seekers of change shining from sea to shining sea

The bringers of rain on the parade of poverty

The ones tired of seeing abuse to democracy

They said “freedom for all” but we knew it was hypocrisy

So we march and declare our rights in the face of adversity

In the face of stoning and lynching we stand proud of our being

Lady Liberty was blindfolded but even now she is seeing

From the U.S. to Uganda, we’re tired of the homophobia

Tired of misplaced anger and xenophobia

Throughout time there was we fighting for humanity

From slavery to genocides, protesting this insanity

From Armenia to the Holocaust, never forgetting

From Rwanda to the Sudan, never accepting

Never complacent when injustice sits adjacent

To our conscience we see the writing of war on the wall and erase it

We believe that peace is possible

That equal rights are plausible

And we will never believe that social justice is optional

 

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Sudanly

May 10, 2010

Southern cries

Northern lies

Western worries

Eastern ties

Sudanly I feel a change on the horizon

2 million souls perished in pursuit of what?

People starved, lands razed in pursuit of what?

Resource riches, political ditches

War criminals, political wins subliminal

With no fear, Bashir hungers hope,

Nightmares dreams

Elections a shame

But as history’s pupils we know there will be change

When our voices are raised and heroism praised

Every dictator knows we will limit their days

Genocide, gendercide, infanticide, tribeacide

To anyone who isn’t on the President’s side

But without violence we will commit presidentcide

Side-by-side with the Sudanese we will stride

Until the day where every Sudanese can hold their heads with pride

Shouting “Not on our watch!” and “Not on our dime!”

We will march, not stride towards destruction’s demise

Until all of Sudan is free to rebuild and to rise

We’ve said “never again” so this will be the last time

No more innocents lost, legal lies, and war crimes

For fear is falling down, allowing our faith and our hope to rise!

Stand for me, stand for my country

May 10, 2010

I carry hope in one hand, horror in the other

The promise of tomorrow on my right side

The horrific reminder of my rape in the other

I will never forget what they did to my brother

How they bludgeoned my father,

Made my cousin eat her mother

I often wonder if the world will ever know

If I die today where does my sister’s hope go?

I thought my hand would be used to write wonderful poetry

But now I must carry this extension of me

This outward reminder of what happened to me

When they come back for me tomorrow, who will protect me?

When I can no longer walk, who will STAND for me?

Who will stand for my sisters and cousins in Panzi?

My veins now extend outside of my body

But I hope I won’t die in vain—a nobody

Hope is hard to carry when you only have one hand

If the present is a gift,

Who hates me enough to gift me this?

I may never know but I think you do

If I die tonight, will you let my story, my Congo die too?

February 28, 2010

This past Wednesday, I traveled to the University of Richmond (UR) to perform my spoken word poetry and hip-hop on the Congo. I was invited by Maria Sebastian of the school’s STAND chapter and Matt Sobel of the UR’s Sigma Chi Fraternity. Though I was impressed with the hospitality they showed me, I was overwhelmed by the enthusiasm on learning about the Congo and the conflict minerals issue. The STAND chapter there has less than ten active members. The Sigma Chi Fraternity members there told me they didn’t know much about the Congo. Despite these two points, they had over 200 people in standing-room only attendance on a rainy Wednesday night. As I walked into the Commons Student Center, I saw NCAA games on the TVs and of course Winter Olympic activity. All of the campus life distractions were still taking place that night but these students came out to learn how they could stop violence and destruction in the Congo. That to me is incredible and speaks to what a small group of dedicated people can do to affect change.

What was also great to see was that the students followed up the next day with a “cell-out” protest. This is when participants turn off their phones and leave messages on their voicemails explaining that their phones are off in order to draw attention to how our electronics are supporting violence in the Congo. As we posed for the picture attached to this post, one student asked: “How many people died for that camera to work?” Another student said: “I was thinking the same thing.” That summed it up for me. We are winning because we are getting the average person and student to think about something they may never see on the television. Being able to shift every day minds towards such a profound issue as the Congo is proof positive that we are on the track and must never stop. I can’t wait to visit the next school!

Raise Hope for the Congo (a poem)

January 13, 2010

The world’s richest country now the poorest

A chorus of women’s cries across a corrupted country in demise

International lies hide the truth of our turmoil

Raping our country of our women, tungsten, coltan, and gold

Young girls now a commodity is no longer an oddity

Child soldiers watching bullets and not birds fly over their sky

So we can sit pretty with our play stations, laptops and iPhones

iRoam alone in Africa’s first world war

Starving the country, feeding the globe

Little babies dying so we can have a cell phone and warm home

An x-box, a TV, a computer, a flat screen

Flat lining the dreams of millions of Congolese

Never quite able to control their destiny

Mineral gifts turned to curses

Body bags with no hearses

Babies bouncing from the womb to the tomb in a matter of minutes

But in a minute you can decide to help turn this tide

Raise your voice for the people

Raise hope for the Congo

Turn your cell phone to a microphone and speak knowledge to your college

Tell these computer companies we need conflict free products

Realize you’re a fool if you don’t check the trail of those jewels

Diamonds and gold be the fuels to this fire

How can gold become a cancer?

 I’m looking for an answer

In a land where diamonds are NOT a girl’s best friend

But together with the Congolese we can change this direction

If you decide to raise your conscience and each one teach one

Reach one in your grasp make an army of change

An army of conscious consumers and not soldiers for the same old

Sympathetic solutions for political and profitable prostitution

The true resolution is empowering our women

The center of our land must be made whole once again

The backbone of our nation must be realigned

When our women can stand proud our country we will once again have its spine

The heart of our future lies in our young girls

The pride of our lives lies in our young boys

Congo’s future lies in our hands if you’d just understand

That we’re all in this together

So let’s raise hope and take a stand for our land