Soy Ilegal

Since the beginning we, la raza odiada
the hated race
have been caught in the middle
just as we are now
between the fall of Tenochtitlan
and the migrant farms that feed a nation
in this modern day version of divide and conquer
1492
1942
2010
what’s the fucking difference?
we are all just a bunch of savages
Pachucos y wetbacks
soy ilegal

A flame to the codex
our history was/is destroyed by the original conquest
we have been fighting for our identity since Queen Isabella
ordered the rape of the land, the natives and the legacy
as we were oh so graciously pulled from the jungles
into modern day slavery
but you just call it industry
we may not have been brought across the ocean in ships
but we are in bondage just the same
hiding our tongue
afraid to give any clue about our identity
and so we have no identity
soy ilegal

I am neither here nor there
a wanderer without a motherland
the immigrant does not see me as brother
In Mexico I am a pocho
in the USA I am a dirty Mexican
the US Census says I am White
and to the voting population of Aryan-zona I am the enemy
my whole life has been shadowed by the original struggle
always asking: who am I?
soy ilegal

I am tired of Mexican being a dirty word
I am tired of being told my history doesn’t matter
I am tired of being an invisible pawn in an ancient chess game
you have taken my food
adopted my style
banned my language
and changed my name
the knife cuts deeper and the conquest stretches farther
yet we remain in defiance
this is American History X
and you shall not destroy it
soy ilegal

– by S. J. Rivera

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