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With freedom and justice for all…

March 2, 2010

When the ships arrived
You were already here
living, breathing, working, playing
cultivating corn fed civilizations

We came bringing
freedom and justice for all
in the name of God and king
Our swords and horses
helped you see the benefits
of Christianity and slavery

We took your land…your lives
as we possessed our New World
flowing with milk
and honey
and blood
But you were grateful, no doubt
that we came with our enlightened
ideas of freedom and justice
for all

We came in the name of the market
in the name of our demand for
more gold, more chocolate
more bio-fuels
You were and are grateful, no doubt
to give up your land
in exchange for salvation
in exchange for a life of dignity
as a part of our imperial system

We helped you see that
your way of life
your language
your simple ideas
of community, of seasons and stars
of gods
Were inferior

Operation Conquest and Liberation
has continued to provide
crumbs from our table
so why are you unhappy?
Why are you organizing against
the very Powers that bring
your liberation?
Why do you continue to insist on
your rights?
Why the unrest?

We are wary of the Che Guevara
resistance to our free-market forces
We are wary of the dissenting
Indigenous voice
the voice of…
Fray Bartolome de las Casas
Gustavo Gutierrez
the voice of…
machine gun
of disappearing peasant farmers
of narco-traficantes

We are wary of voices
which destabilize the market
which impinge on our ideas
of freedom and justice
for all

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Allison Weaver permalink
    March 2, 2010 9:50 am

    May I have a copy of this to share with my Later Latin American lit class?

  2. just an apprentice permalink
    March 2, 2010 9:58 am

    @ Allison:


  3. March 6, 2010 4:17 pm

    thanks for your pointed words . . . btw, I was telling Chris about the readings they had at Columbus and I thought we had talked about ordering one for SMC. I was thinking you signed up for one or ordered one??? Do we have a copy at SMC? Do you know what I’m talking about — the “skits” Michelle Hershberger was involved in . . . I was suggesting one for Chris to use one Sunday in SS but I didn’t know where to look for it.

  4. Bill Grossman permalink
    March 31, 2010 10:28 am

    Brian, very fine stuff. Really appreciate your thinking and your fine way of expressing it.

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