This I Believe

Mallory - Mercer Island, Washington
Entered on January 5, 2007

Close your eyes,

You are now thinking the famous words “I have a dream”

Wake up! That’s not good enough, and it never will be

We all have dreams and hopes and prayers as we stand in the doorstep of growing up

“Education”, they tell us, “is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

We are trapped to rearrange the trash and ugliness in the world and

make it our responsibility to pick up the clutter in history and “learn from history what we do not learn from history”

Do what’s right and live up to our older siblings or our full potential,

I hold my hands over my ears screaming, “I had a dream too”

I feel like we’ve all been thrown up against this wall that won’t soften until black white brown green blue can all hold hands together and say we are going to beat this thing

We are going to kick racism in the head and put it in a coffin

but what I remember most is, “what are you pretending not to know today”

I don’t know about you but I am still pretending not to know the millions of people who died with their dreams leaking out through their teeth and lips as they lay under ground with their mouths open.

I looked in the news paper today and saw that an 18 year old boy walked up to a classmate and opened fire, I bet he had a dream too.

I’m squeezing my knees to my chest, afraid.

that it will always be there like a birth mark on the timeline of America: the land of the free the home of the brave

in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue to discover a world that does not forget to condescend

America is not living unless it is suffering, whether “it” is a religion, race, or sex

the scariest thing I have ever heard was

“Be the change you wish to see in the world” somehow that translates to the older generation depending on the young when I was taught to depend on myself

Problem is, relying on oneself does not create a place to rise up from something that requires us to stand up together

There is no safety in dreams or believing in yourself

Speak out, or the need to change will become extinct and disappear like the dinosaurs

Thomas Hobbs said that we are selfish, it is human nature

America is holding itself over a toilet,

retching out the remains of prejudice that exists in our society,

sucking the poison out of the bite

that racism has taken out of the flesh of America

I want to hold its head up in my white fist, out of the vomit and crack its skull in a hundred million different places

for every time in history that someone killed a dream

You heard me right, I want to punish America for the poison of history and

I’m begging you to listen to those words again

“I have a dream”

You better wake up, because dreams are no longer acceptable.