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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

a manifesta, to be performed. unfinished.

Published: September 26, 2008
Section: Arts, Etc.

I am tired of revolutions that do not represent me

Of safe spaces that alienate aspects of my identity

Denying the intersectionality

That is my reality.

I am supposed to put on a shelf

Facets of my self

Stick to the issue at hand

And not make a sound

About supposedly unrelated topics.

I have too often found

That the assumption of activists is limited

To certain images

Of white liberal hipsters

Indie rock listeners

And when I go to the places

That activists are supposed to

I know that these are my friends

And I love them

But I know I am not of them.

Recently I received an activist group’s email

Asking me, did I ever feel

Disillusioned- and I thought, yes

Disempowered- and I thought, yes

Dissatisfied- and I thought, yes.

Then it asked if I missed hardcore punk rock

And yeah I listened to punk rock in high school

And found it political and cool

But also listened to old school

Hip hop

A genre that poor, colored folk around the world

Have put beats to and hurled

‘Cause it gave them a voice

When nothing else did.

There existed an assumption that

The people getting this email

Were of a certain type that

Was most welcome at their meetings.

Exclusion manifests itself

In subtle ways.

And it may seem trivial

But when it happens day after day after day

I start to feel it.

My race, sexuality, religion, and gender

Do not define me

But are all part of me

That I could not even try

To hide or deny

Because they have influenced my experience of life

So profoundly.

When all the places

You were told to turn to

Have failed you

And you tried to make your voice heard

But it echoed back to you

What do you do?