To My Phantasmic Sisters and Brothers
I am stuck
Trying to give back something I do not own
Trying to tell a story that is not mine
Even worse, the story has no beginning and has not ended
I am free
I am free to slave on stolen land
To work in buildings built on the demolition of those whose story I tell
Those are my sisters and brothers but I have abandoned them
I have forsaken them for citizenship where I enjoy privileges of the wasichu
I think and act
Though my long line of activism and intellectual thought only mentions you in passing
Why? Well, we are both in ghettoized fields, but our turfs compete more than collaborate
For my first 18 years of colonization, I learned that you were an event in history
And historical events are just that, historical—gone, passed, no more.
But, I love you, I do. Believe me…
They used their Trinity to create a Triad, where they destroyed, removed, and made you ghosts, often in the name of their Holy Ghost.
Their bad Acts have been in process since 1492
Where they told us they were just schooling you
They put man at head and said you were proper
Stripped you of your “savagery” and called you modern
I encourage people to fight for their rights and inclusion
But what are these rights?
The ability to gain a stronger and deeper foothold in your occupied land?
What is inclusion?
Inclusion in a system of hierarchy that adds to your ghostsness?
Our Alliance is critical
You have always understood me, but I was socialized to misunderstand you
My struggle has been my struggle and not ours
But I have learned, that my struggle cannot be met with success without your struggle too
I am you. I am not you.
I need you.
I will continue to teach myself about your struggles, help me if you see the need,
But, please focus your energies elsewhere—this is my responsibility.
I am institutionalized, still.
I am also (a) feminist.
Though, sometimes there is tension between the two and then again with you.
Your teachings do not fit our methods of knowledge production.
Why do I say “our,” the academy doesn’t give me space for my knowledges either.
They are anecdotal and stories…subjective!
For them, there is a clear separation between knower and known,
So I am encouraged to not be too close to my research topics.
I should let my students learn for themselves good and bad, I am only to present facts.
And you, sister, are a historical fact–gone, passed, no more.
But, I love you, I do. Believe me.
Martel is a Marxist-Feminist scholar-worker by day and masked poet by night con sueños de mareas expuestas.