They Are Trying To Trademark The Revolution ‪#‎SolidarityWithJennicetGutiérrez

They are trying to trademark
the revolution
Tell us how it should go down
and what part
we are allowed to play in it
They done forgot what
freedoms they have
came from those
with nothing to lose
fighting like hell
against respectable methods
Our ancestors did not follow
blindly tripping on “yes, sir”
and head hung low
feigning some humility
so happy to be acknowledged
plodding along faithful
to the norm
ties tight, white gloves
clapping and smiling for
their oppressors’ every
favor granted
They did not sit and drink
champagne
while turning their backs to
those who weren’t invited
to sit down at all
and rolling their eyes at the
disturbance
We come from a long line
of disturbers of peace
and conditionally granted comforts
Revolution is not
respectable
smiling
waiting
it is tires of change
rolling on over
anyone who sits in the way
comfortable because they
got their seat already
Some people only join
up after
the war is half over
and they are sure who
the victors will be
until then they recommend caution
insist freedom is only
meant for those who
assimilate well
Some people never had to
stand in the back of the room
with security guards grabbing
at them
and yet believe they
are meant to be
supervisors
who tell the rest of us
we aren’t moving fast
enough and
then tell us to slow down
They say
don’t make demands
work within the system
and understand it is
slow
but surely they will
get to our needs
if we are just
a little more patient
and cooperative
What the hell kinda
revolution is that
when we are
told to be
polite
and build bridges
help others to see
our humanity
We are told the revolution
requires us to
hold on
hold back
stay up
don’t push
build solidarity
with people who don’t
see us as people
We are
commanded by those who
benefit from the system
staying just as it is
but who sweet talk
and jive about
how they are down
for the cause
Right up until that moment
when the cause
stands up
shouting
and their dinner
is disturbed
But we
are not meant to
be silent
never meant to survive
anyway
have nothing
and yet everything
to lose
and that means
everything more to
gain
So we come into
your dinner party
jump up on your table
kick over your champagne
Polite and sweet
never got us
nowhere
but loud and traffic stopping
has always
worked
If we can’t get your
solidarity
just by being
because it is the right thing
how is kissing your ass
going to somehow
yield us anything
but more ass kissing
We don’t have time
to crown new emperors
who are thinly disguised
replicas of the previous
We are the kings and queens
throwing down the idols
and building a new
reality

***

#‎SolidarityWithJennicetGutiérrez is intended to juxtapose the rainbow and gay marriage win with the reality that most cis white queers are the ones who benefit from the assimilation of marriage and are happy to throw an undocumented Brown trans woman of color under the bus to get what they want. It is about how we may have marriage but there are so many LGBTQI people suffering from too many things marriage cannot solve.

Find more from Aaminah on their site

Image credit: #‎SolidarityWithJennicetGutiérrez by Aaminah Shakur, acrylic and mixed media

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5 thoughts on “They Are Trying To Trademark The Revolution ‪#‎SolidarityWithJennicetGutiérrez

  1. I love the passion in this. Can I ask an odd question, since it’s been on my mind the last few days and relates to this topic?

    Whenever I see this topic, this reminder that marriage equality is really only for white/cis queers and throws other issues under the bus, it makes me a little uncomfortable. Not because I’m white and cis (which I am) but because my partner and future fiance isn’t. I don’t see much rhetoric around those in the middle, whose partner is perhaps the white/cis one or the queer POC, and where they fit in this discussion. Because, quite honestly, marriage WOULD help my girlfriend and myself equally. It would offer us both more opportunities to protect each other legally, to ensure the other’s future is secure should something happen to us. So while I am 110% in agreement that marriage equality is only the battle, not the war, I feel like some folks are getting thrown under the bus… just in a different way than you mentioned.

    I guess what I’m asking is whether there’s any justification to my feeling… well, conflicted, I suppose, about this topic. I certainly don’t want to come off all “white savior”, but I also don’t necessarily appreciate this undercurrent of assumption that all white/cis people are dating each other and all trans/queer POC are dating each other, to the exclusion of any crossover. Is that legitimate? Of course, if there IS discussion about this I’ve missed, I’d love to be pointed in that direction.

    Anyway. Sorry for the crazy long comment. Wonderful poem. 🙂

    Like

    1. It’s rather difficult for me to answer a question that starts with all the wrong assumptions about what I have written and what my stance is on the issue altogether. I don’t know a single person out there who has EVER suggested that ONLY white cis people benefit from marriage nor that has ever in any way implied that white people only marry white people and POC only marry POC. That just is not my own personal experience or reality nor the reality of most people I know. So really… it’s a question based on an argument that doesn’t actually even exist. Which, in my mind is worse than being a white savior because it isn’t just about trying to speak over people but it is completely attempting to delegitimize our own words and speaking. I’m not going to do the 101 of pointing anyone in the direction of the discussions that complicate the subject because they are literally everywhere, including in this poem (no where in this poem or in the statement about my piece of art did I ever say only white cis people benefit from marriage, nor do I believe that only white cis people benefit from marriage). If you aren’t seeing them, I would challenge you to actually pay attention to the voices of POC, trans folks etc because we certainly are speaking and would appreciate it if you stop putting false words in our mouths.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful. My favorite part…
    but who sweet talk
    and jive about
    how they are down
    for the cause
    Right up until that moment
    when the cause
    stands up
    shouting
    and their dinner
    is disturbed

    Liked by 2 people

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