Gloria Ortiz

Black Panther is Undocumented

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Gloria Ortiz

Santa Monica, CA

I stand here with an audible voice I stand here with a visible face I represent my people’s pain I am Latina Those words I used to find shame in And every time I was told to mark a check next to my ethnicity and race I wanted to mark the box next to the same race that oppresses Me and my people My identity

My mother used to tell me to dream, To dream big, to not be afraid of my wings The wings nurtured by My mother’s love, My family, My culture

Antes no me gustaba hablar el español (Before I didn’t like speaking Spanish) I spoke it with a sense of shame and a little bit of self hate My mom confused my silence with shyness She couldn’t understand How could I explain That society had told me that my dreams did not match the color of my skin My mother told me to dream Told me education could help me win

Until the day she told me Mija, talvez no tienes tanto (Sweetie, maybe don’t dream too much) Look at reality for a second No tienes papeles y no tenemos dinero ( You’re undocumented and we don’t have money) Solo iras al collegio si cai todo del cielo ( you’re only going to college if everything falls from the sky) She shatters my life in a matter of seconds Without realizing the damage she had done

Entonces la sangre se me subió y solo le pude gritar ( Then all my blood raised to my head and I could only scream) WHY DIDN’T WE STAY IN MEXICO! That’s the land of the free Then I would have all my rights given to me Why did you bring me to the land of LOS RACISTS ( THE RACIST)

This country whose history is based off hatred and abuse Of all other races, Que no son blancos. ( That are not white) Que no entiendes, no nos quieren aqui ( Do you not understand, they don’t want us here) Lo miro en la forma que me miran (I see it in the way they look at me) Como si fuera menos que humana ( As if I were less than human)

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