Artist: Albert Taino
For Puerto Rico :
She fell to ground, blood red, from wild mother flamboyan. Now a tiny colonized flower grows in occupied cement crack, fragile tendrils reach up to stormy skies desperately seeking sun, resilient wind -blown petals await rain.
The Flamboyan tree could be seen all over Puerto Rico. Their petals are a bright red so they often look ablaze. It is a theme you will see throughout Puerto Rican art and is celebrated as a major iconic image of the island.
The problem with Capitalism is it strips us of our humanity. Communities are merely markets to be sold to. Bodies to be bought, used, and trafficked. To provide a service in labor. To be a buyer of goods. Issues in healthcare, civil rights, wages, nutrition, voting, education, environment, criminal justice, and housing merely weighed upon economic advantages and disadvantages. I am an economic commodity. The price of life a dollar, if life is even a consideration at all. I’m sick of my fate and death being measured in dollars. I’m sick of trying to convince Capitalism that the lives of my loved ones are “worth” it. Trying to provide a cost-benefit analysis weighing repression and exploitation against monetary gain. To even compare the two subjugates dignity, robs us of humanity.
I ask you Capitalism what is the worth of one life? What numerical value in currency can you assign a human life? What is our cost and what is your benefit? The incarcerated inmate, the DACA dreamer, the minimum wage worker, the addicted patient, the child shot to death by gun violence, the unarmed black man murdered by police, the orphan refugee, the Native American body blocking pipelines, the Puerto Rican without food and water? What are we worth I ask? What dollar amount? What debt are you willing to incur for human life Capitalism? Are you willing? TELL ME CAPITALISM WHAT?!
I fucking double dog dare you to tell me, what is my wife, my husband, partner, mother, my father, friend, my son, my daughter, my neighbors, brothers, and my sisters worth? What dollar amount would you sell them for? WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE WORTH?!
My dear reader, if you say human life is priceless, then you agree with me, under the golden greedy fist of Capitalism, there can be no humanity.
Today my husband is 370 days sober
My husband and I are one year free of the chains of addiction
But the fight for life is not over
Donald Trump is “president”, by that I mean Commander in Capitalist. Colonialist in Chief.
40% of my island’s people are without potable drinking water
They are suffering from starvation, living in darkness, and begging for help
Columbus Day is still a recognized holiday celebrating genocide in this country
(there are brilliant and deserving Italians we can celebrate, like Michelangelo and DaVinci, if you want to “go there”)
Power swallows you up if you don’t resist
God bless us all, addicted, sober, rich, poor, mother, child, incarcerated, colonized, and free
God bless us all in our fight for justice and peace
Feel like contributing to relief efforts in Puerto Rico? I got you covered!