Did you know your existence is radical?
Do you know that colonized minds don’t know what to do with your thoughts
when you speak up and demand for the rights of your gente?
Did you know that when you refuse to comply to the norms society has established, the earth trembles because you are trying to change her,
Did you know?
Many have tried to silence you
or worse, they try to demonize you
on TV, when you shout, they say you are
too disruptive and angry and you feel too much.
Many have tried to colonize your mind
because your ideas are scary, because
they shake up the very foundation of this nation:
Corruption, inequality, the pursuit of happiness – but only for those who are rich and privileged
“Pick yourself up by the bootstraps” they tell you
Knowing very well that ours are tattered and worn and need mending too many times.
But you, brown girl, you picked yourself up by these so-called bootstraps and when they ripped on you,
You mended them with the love of your parents, with the support of your friends, with the sweat from your skin as you worked to get ahead.
Each time they’d ripped, someone helped you mend them along the way
and you, you never gave up.
So they were shocked when you made it out of their plan
of the school to prison pipeline.
They were surprised when you demanded scholarships and federal aid because you earned it.
They trembled at your feet when you told them
“No more, para mi gente voy a luchar y continuar”
They tried to pull a quick one on you, but you,
brown girl, you knew too well the tricks they would play
so you became sly as a fox and schooled them at their own game.
You brown girl, who carries the roots of your gente.
You, brown girl, who watches mami y papi work long hours
in the fields
or in construction
or as maids who get mistreated.
Jobs nobody wants because they are above them
You, brown girl, who got told her features were too ugly
Kylie Jenner wants your hoops, your lips, your curves, your hairstyles, your culture without giving credit.
You, brown girl, whose lunch was ridiculed and called gross because they couldn’t handle the spice,
they want your family recipes now
so they can sell them at fifteen bucks a pop
and insult your dishes by “toning them down”
Your existence is radical because NO ONE wants to give you credit for the trends you set
you come up with hashtags and trends every week.
Your existence is radical because no one wants to acknowledge the diplomas you earn, for the change you are gonna make.
Your existence is radical because when they told you,
you showed them you COULD.
You are radical, brown girl
You are radical because they are afraid of the change you’re trying to bring to this world
Because you won’t sit still when they tell you no.
Never stop dreaming, brown girl, never stop chasing your dreams
Never settle for what others want, go live the life you have imagined
Because this is what they don’t want from you
keep voicing yourself and accomplishing your goals.