“Oppression” – Jimmy Santiago Baca

What does it mean to be meaningfully self-aware? And, how can I incorporate meaningful self-awareness in my daily routine to ensure I am practicing anti-oppressive behavior?

“People see what they are socially cued to see.”

My ask to myself is to not succumb to my social cues; to not take the easy road for the sake of its ease. Instead, my ask to myself is to examine and to critically think about why something is the way it is. Then, not accept what isn’t just. What isn’t right.

My ask to myself is to speak up when oppressive language, behavior, or actions are occurring around me. To not be a beneficiary to others’ oppression.

Oppression

– Jimmy Santiago Baca

Is a question of strength,

of unshed tears,
of being trampled under,

and always, always,
remembering you are human.

Look deep to find the grains
of hope and strength,
and sing, my brothers and sisters,

and sing.  The sun will share
your birthdays with you behind bars,
the new spring grass

like fiery spears will count your years,
as you start into the next year;
endure my brother, endure my
sisters.

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