Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Prohibido no ser humano | Being Inhuman prohibited

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Arnoldo García

Prohibido no ser humano | Being inhuman prohibited

It was never allowed
Hablar español en la escuela
The white monolingual English-only teacher hit us with rulers, hands, swat-boards
Just for being Mexican
We were human, yet not human enough.

It was never allowed
You couldn’t get away with entering a room and not greet your elders with respect and reverence
To forget your dead, your ancestors and your ancestors to be
To forget the land, the gardens, the fields, where maize, watermelons, frijol grew underneath rooted to the ancestors, all of them

It was never allowed
To forget to pray, to mourn 40 days, 40 nights
and not be de luto for one year

It was never allowed
To talk first and not listen to the elders, the women, the viejitos, the infirm, those on their deathbed

It was never allowed
To receive pay, recognition or praise without work, without sweat, without sacrifice first
To put yourself forward ahead of others
To choose your friends
The squeaky wheel rolled away by itself

It was never allowed
To ignore the people, the community, the viejitas, the matriarchs, with their guidance, their good and best words
Who made us dream together
Who made us work together
Who made us live a shared vision
Who made us share a home, the food, the laughter
Who gave us life
Everyone else was first, you made room for them
Because you knew they were the other you.

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