queens v. jester-kings

November 1, 2012

i was born a Queen.

a long beautiful
lineage of Queens
who had to be kings
in castles
filled with jester’s
who played at being kings.

jester’s who silenced their voices
with side splitting punch lines
no jokes.

jester-kings who forget the strongest
piece on a chessboard is the Queen.
but who know…
that we are so powerful
it scares them enough to castle
behind three pawns.

while they dictate our moves
tell us where we need to be
how we need to play by the rules

check.

i am Queen.
the game starts and ends
when i say it does.

you have for too long
thought this game was about you.
setting parameters
trying to restrain
my strength
my voice
my choice.

jester-kings
your days are counted
the game is changing
Queens will rule again.

but don’t worry
we won’t pay you less for equal work
we won’t put viagra up for legislation
hell, we won’t even expect you to cook and clean.

trust.

this game
is about to get real.
so get your crooked rooks
and your bullshit bishops.

all i need is a few Queens
to do all the work
you and your pawns
have failed to do throughout
the history of your existence.

check. mate.

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open letter to campaign x

December 5, 2011

dear campaign (fill in the one of your choice there are hundreds to choose from),

please, under no circumstance, mistake organizing with campaigning.

organizing is when you gather a people, have THEM identify the issues, provide the tools necessary so that they may advocate for themselves and they LEAD the way to systemic change created from within.

campaigning already has a set agenda and you invite others because you NEED them to meet your goals.

did you catch the difference? (i hope you do. i mean, you and all your law degrees and political jargon and your corporate behavior dressed in non-profit should see it clearly).

the former starts from its people, works with its people, and then its people create the change they wish to see. the latter, well, just wants to move a personal agenda and when it realizes it doesn’t have “enough people,” they scramble to find tokens in a jar of spare Blacks, Latinos, Queers, women, low-income people… throw us a t-shirt and some event, catered by who else but us… and expect us to join or even more baffling, fight for… what YOU want.

well, shit… have you stopped to look at your campaign from the perspective of the tokens in your jar? have you taken the time to really look in your jar? i mean, honestly… stop looking at people like they’re just people. it makes you insensitive, shallow, and disconnected. plain and simple. take the mutha’ fucking time to really learn a people. go with intent. sit and have a cup of coffee with someone you might never sit with. learn their struggle. see if you can taste it. learn what moves them to continue in light of their struggles. try to have a genuine human connection that tugs at your heart.

…but you won’t.

you’ll keep pushing your campaign based on political strategies created by the same people you claim to be fighting against. in the end, you might win… ’cause money, well… money is money.

and conversely, in the end… you will not have changed anything. because the system remains the blueprint for legislative oppression created by the oppressor.

but please, do me at least one favor… don’t call it a movement if it ain’t moving.

sincerely,

Sarahí Y. Almonte