The System Isn’t Broken


The system isn’t broken
In fact
It is working just fine

It is working just as it was set up to do

We will forever lament
Our labels our victimhood our walls
Until we understand we are operating inside ones
Engineered to break us

It was meant to break us all along

It was meant to break our communities
Even as it displaces our neighbors for newly prized land
once fallow now ready for exploit

It was meant to break our children
Even as it idolizes – even sexualizes – their youth

It was meant to break our families
Even as it preaches family values

It rides on old stories that make
Women objects of suspicion
Black teen boys menaces to society
Poor folk welfare royalty

It rides on tired stories that
Break gender into two
Pits black against white strangling any color in between
Privileges the wealthy as it attacks the poor

It turns us against each other mired by hard and fast labels
Ultimately to keep us in our place

It polices our young people
Keeps them in debt as indentured servants draining any spark of creative enterprise and critical thought
Waiting for any misstep that are simply youthful folly
And at the first opportunity incarcerate our children to work as slaves

It maligns people off who’s backs it has profited for generations

and keeps people illegal even as it extracts every bit of their sweat and toil

It destroys our environments
And shirks any responsibility to the communities it abuses the lands it usurps for profit of toxic products

Let us take a stand against the system
Let us create a citizens watch

Let us train our children to be thoughtful warriors
Strong powerful resourceful resilient
Let us keep them from becoming desperate soldiers

Let us be the safe haven for our little ones
And help them believe that together we can grow up to be the best we can be

Let us heal the broken places
Keep striving keep loving
And with mindfulness
Begin breaking down the walls that isolate us

Together we can return to community
And command that the system be dismantled

The system isn’t broken
In fact
it is working just fine

(Yet where we live
We may be the breathing flowers rooting
That may just become the cracks to its undoing)