but don’t think for a minute we don’t face discrimination and racism on her eagle-encrusted hallowed lands of so-called freedom.
We say we’re Native, Metis, Mexican, Hispanic, ‘dark’ Italians or Czechs.
We’re anything but Romani, Romanichal, Kale, Sinte,
A word that clamours from your throat reluctantly, weighted with fear and disgust, or tumbles joyously a confused jumble of flowers and fields and marijuana-dusted half-naked memories.
You don’t know who we are.
Many of us come from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia… all these countries where integration is framed in the form of segregation. Where apartheid sits on our shoulders like a noose.
No, America isn’t Hungary
but don’t think that your land is really our land, that your shining seas and purple mountain majesties are given for free.
We have to fight for everything; we have to fight being deported before we even get to glimpse your spacious skies and amber waves of grain.
We have to fight our own countries systems only to be kicked in the teeth by America the beautiful, her thoroughfare for freedom and all.
No America isn’t Hungary
her crown of brotherhood sits askew, but don’t tell me that we come for your pitiful handouts. Or that we come to traffic your children or drugs or sex.
don’t tell me that we come to take your jobs, your homes, your tiny cubicle in your tiny world.
You think living in the ‘hood is bad; you frame your neighbours as killers and drugheads and motherfucking pieces of shit… not understanding what it’s like to be that piece of shit floating
in a goddamn shining sea.
We’re considered pollutants; run-off; detritus; disposable.
I think the poem that America the Beautiful is based on says it all:
God shed His grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!