Acirema (yes this is America backwards)
by Jessica Ramos
Yes, you guessed it. I will be talking about Allen Ginsberg’s America and why it makes me cringe. Will you agree with me? Probably not, well depending who you are. Truth is when I heard this poem in class I did snap to some parts, but cringed at the thought of a white man sitting down and speaking on behalf of all the issues that people of color face. Now I decided to create my OWN version of the poem, America. Some things never change and you WILL find similarities. This is how America looks like through the eyes of a 19 year old Latina. You are probably wondering why is America backwards in her title, well because it seems like we are moving backwards. This was originally a blog I submitted a while ago and knew this was something that I needed to go back to and make public.
my stomach hurts just by hearing your name
America I am not proud to be a product of you
you disappoint me
America what’s this dream you speak off?
America stop being nosy
stop with the bombings
America stop marginalizing people
America why do you want people to assimilate into your “culture”
Wait, America what is even your culture?
I hope your melting pot breaks
When can my undocumented friends stop being afraid
End the police brutality
BLACK LIVES MATTER
America if that is even your name?
America why do I carry the burden of representation
America I know you are afraid!! Do something !
I am tired of your capitalism
America stop with your white supremacy
America this poem is written by a person of color not by a white man
America we are screwed
America you have a orange cheeto in office
You are composed of white men making policies that impact communities of color
End the school to prison pipeline
Give us free education
End the mass deportations
America provide us with more schools
America you disappoint me
America this poem continues…
If you are scared now please think about all the people who have been scared their entire lives. Reflect on how much privilege you have and please take a seat and allow for people of color to speak their OWN struggles. Allen Ginsberg was a queer individual who was white, resulting in more privilege. Imagine being queer as well as a person of color. When I heard this poem all I thought about who was snapping and clapping. In my vision I couldn’t see people of color in this space because keep in mind this was during the 1956’s. I do comprehend that he went through struggles and that he hates the America he is seeing, but imagine how much a person of color hates America. He uses satire and comedy to express this poem. However, many issues he is speaking about are too sensitive and impacts many people directly. I just wonder if this poem would of become famous if a person of color had written it. I definitely acknowledge and appreciate Ginsberg’s effort to touch on important topics concerning the United States, but where are the other voices and points of view? Where in his poem is he giving people of color a platform in where to tell their story.
America I am scared
America he is targeting me
America please help me
America stop him
America give us our voices back
America you can’t let this happen.
I am scared, but America I don’t need you
I have my voice and I will use it
I am powerful and we will make it through
Power to the people! La lucha sigue!