“The past, present,
and future belongs to those still willing to get their hands dirty.” What do
you believe in, America?
BY OTEP SHAMAYA
You wake up with a knife at your throat. A gun in your
mouth. A necktie noose draped over your face hitched to the bed. You paw at the
knot to loosen the grip but your fists are full of pills. You try to stand but
you are chained to the floor. The icy tides of a rushing current rise above
The world is on fire.
The sky is falling.
We are doomed.
The crusted black punctures where your eyes once soaked in
the world now absorb nothing. Here in the lawless dark, the weight of reality
and its immensity and density of pain, injustice, and fear press the breath
from the lung of your ever-shrinking spirit.
A pile of unpaid bills. Empty cupboards and empty pockets.
Questions but no answers. Hazy dreams drifting away.
Desperate times, desperate souls. 10 years of post traumatic
stress in the New World Order. 10 years of rebuilding and reinventing who and
what we are. 10 years of waiting for the next disaster, the next great wave of
tragedy to surge over the shore and take us all to the murky bottom. Clawing
for light, sucking inky sludge into the pink tissue of our screaming lungs. 10
years of war. 10 years being overlooked, overworked, over taxed, and
overwhelmed. 10 years of Bush fatigue. 10 years losing our way. 10 years hoping
our elected officials would fix the breech and right our course.
10 years of
disappointment and heartbreak.
September 11 still soars and detonates over our collective
memory in 10-second media clips disguised as nightmares. Every day we wake
crucified to a new reality, each nail represents a contradiction, ideas
hammered into us with such force we feel helpless to escape them.
The poor are
Kill for peace.
This is America.
You’ve earned it.
Indeed we have. Leveraging this for that, sucked it up and
sucked it in, carried the load & saluted the flag. Meanwhile, the Greedy
Elite sat in the shade, soaked in treasure baths, and painted Patriotism on
every item imported from China.
Out of work, out of hope, we silently comply with the insane
and inane decisions of a broken political system lathered in gold leaf.
We are the children
lost in the amnesia of heaven.
We are the wandering
tribes of the American dream.
We are kindling
crackling in the fire.
We are the 99%.
The rich get richer and the poor eat shit and die in the
debris. A feast for the flies and bloodsuckers.
This is America.
You paid for it.
A nation of toadies, cronies and thugs of Corporate Kings
and their shadow empires. Work, Buy, Consume, Die. Results are guaranteed, 60%
of the time. A half-life warranty for platinum members only. Side effects
include subjugation and greed.
And we, the 99%, have had enough.
Life is too short and too valuable to squander another
fraction of a moment feeling helpless. Life is nothing but time. Each moment we
waste suffocating on emotional paralysis ignited by the lies and injustice
moralized by the Greedy Elite is a moment that should be used to enjoy every
precious second of life we have left and to fight for what’s
They benefit from our paralysis.
Remember that when they say there’s nothing to do, nothing
to be done, or that can be done. That nothing changes.
When they point their crooked fingers in your face and
bellow that you cannot directly create change, you remember that renegades
built this nation. Dreamers and believers that rebelled against an empire of
gluttony and inequality carved out this country. That it was the indignant
minority who changed the face of America and who are still fighting
for equality and justice for all.
You remember this is the spirit of who and what we are.
We do not quit.
We do not sit idly by.
It has been said that the past, present, and future belongs
to those still willing to get their hands dirty and I believe it. Those that
know how to take advantage have and are exercising their opportunistic
insurgency every moment of every day. So be it. Do we blame the fox for
catching the field mouse? The vulture for picking the meat from carious bone?
No. It is their nature.
And likewise it is our nature to stand up when we see
injustice, to speak out when the walls close in, to strike back with righteous
indignation when they come to take our liberty away.
But we must refuse to sink. We must let joy carbonate our
hearts. We must let our passion burn the chains of apathy away! We are alive.
We have all that we need. And we can make a difference. Together. We can bring
about change. And that’s exactly what they are afraid of.
We can outsmart the fox, we can frighten the vultures away,
we can reclaim our nation from the culture of corruption that has infected our
The first step is to exhale and remember just how powerful
we are. The second is to inhale and feel the strength of life invigorate our
senses. Then, follow your heart, follow your instincts, bring your dreams to
life, and be ready to fight for them.
This is America.
We’ve earned it.
You wake up with a smile on your face. A song in your heart.
A wildfire passion burning within you.
We are the dreamers.
We are the believers.
We are the guts and
glory of America.
We are the 99%.
Read OTEP frontwoman Otep
Shamaya’s Blurt blog, “Battle Ready.”