All about US


A Poem

September 13, 2011 by Ariana Salazar-Newton

The truth is it’s all about US—
Our country and the white men on the American bucks.
To them it is unintelligible that the borders crossed us;
Still we’re the unwelcome guests, stray mutts.

I think they can’t stand to look in our eyes,
To see what they’ve stolen, sexed, and despised.
Yet we’re the criminals—illegals, browns.
We’re the thieves encroaching sacred ground.
We’ve taken jobs, we don’t pay taxes;
We’re terrorists crushed by vigilante axes.
We’re treated unforgivably for manmade crimes.
Our only real sins are love, family, and telling whites lies.

But again, it really is all about US,
If it’s fine here, no concern for mutts.
But when recession, depression hits the economy:
Operation Wetback, TAKE THREE!
Because the truth is we’ve been here before,
AZ didn’t start it, not the first to shut their door.
When the US is happy, fat and rich,
The crumbs aren’t missed, the crumbs aren’t missed
But when jobs are scarce, who is the first to go?
The browns and blacks pushed beyond barrios.
Not enough pieces of pie to go round,
But in our line of work there are no whites to be found.
Still, send them back where they came from;
Starve, bar, and minute mar the scum.
Hell, who cares, put them on death row,
Expend the expendable, just get them to go!

Though we’ll never admit it, it’s all about US,
Borders are closed to people, not capital access.
We’ll exploit, benefit and screw up global economies,
But as long as we don’t feel it, who cares about the least of these.
The suffering, offenses, and contracts broken
Are the plight of outsiders, the perpetual tokens.
We’ve illegalized, alienized, dehumanized human beings
Imperialized languages; ethnic habits declared unclean.
We’ve set an entire people in perpetual tension,
Us-them, white-brown, American-Mexican.
We’ve free traded for our comfort, no intention to redress.
Ignore the evils done, because it’s all about the US.


Ariana Salazar-Newton is a third generation Mexican American from southern California. She is currently working on her Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Christian Education at Princeton Theological Seminary. Her academic interests lie with race, gender, sexuality, and class—particularly the tensions experienced by Mexican Americans.

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