The Pledge of Allegiance
by Uncle Sam, the Puppet Master
I bled allegiance,
was shot and dragged
in the united states of amerikkka.
I lived reppression
for which the country stands
one nation, under martial law
and cheap labor all...
Guns, Clothes and alcohol...As Tommy Hilfiger˘ says, choosing the
right one(s) is our 'declaration of independence.' Or shall we say we are
'in dependence' to our slave masters? Are we puppets? Are we shackled?
Most people would be apalled, angry even 'pissed off' at being
called puppets or even slaves. And yet how can we bow down to Anheuser
Busch˘, Revlon˘, Nike˘ or Smith & Wesson and still claim we're free? It
seems that we'd rather wear 150 dollars shoes, stack our faces with
makeup, strap ourselves with glocks and tech-nines, and fill our bodies
with malt liquor if it means pleasing the puppet master.
Cesar A. Cruz
Most young people, including myself, in ghettoes and barrios
throughout the nation claim we're hardcore by telling off our parents,
families, teachers, friends, or even probation officers as we state with
great pride, "Shit, you don't control me!" Ironically, most of us do so
while wearing Guess˘ or Tommy Hilfiger˘ clothes with St. Ides˘ or Olde
English˘ breath foaming out our mouths. And we still have the nerve to
wonder who controls whom? Just take a Guess˘?
We flock to stores, swapmeets or flea markets seeking that name
brand of acceptance. We'd be willing to spend our babies' money for that
brand new shirt or blouse. We'd be willing to sacrifice our daily bread
for some of that 'sweet' smelling perfume or 'rough' smelling cologne.
We'd even kill for a pair of shoes. And as our minds take one step closer
to the torture chamber the puppet master, a.k.a. Corporate Boss, grins
with a phat wallet filled by our desire to fit in, to be part of the
middle class, to be in style.
"Your mind and soul has been captured and taken captive by the
motherf----n puppet master." (B-Real and Dr. Dre- Puppet Master, 1997)
On weekends, or for some of us on a daily basis, we flock to
super markets, liquor stores and parties seeking the libation of our
incarceration. We'd even be willing to pay money to act foolish, get
dizzy, throw up, possibly explode with anger or rage, and lose brain
cells all for the sake of being 'real.' Some of us would even practive it
three to four times a week. We'd put into our temple, our body, poison
because a frog on tv can make the shit seem funny. We'd put poison in our
body for its glorified by our so-called heroes/heroines of color who are
themselves being used to perpetuate the enslavement of our generation.
Most of us could care less to know about Tijerina, Tupac Amaru,
Assata Shakur, Frantz Fanon, Lolita Lebron, or our Indigenous elders, but
we can name Budweiser˘, Miller˘, Coors˘, Mickeys˘, Corona˘, Tecate˘, St.
Ides˘, Olde English˘, and Colt 45˘ as if they were our best friends.
Black and Brown youth proclaim Black and Brown power, and yet all
we devour is the fastfood chain of McD's˘, inhale the smoke of the
Marlboro˘ man, and drink the poison of CocaCola˘ or Pepsi˘... We're
partly right, there is power.
Power for multinational corporations who pimp, exploit our
sisters andfbrothers all over the world. Power for companies like Nike˘
who make their shoes in Indonesia for 47ó an hour, Guess˘ shirts in Los
Angeles and New York's sweat shops under slave conditions, Disney˘
memorabilia in Haiti˘ for 17ó an hour, and Ford˘ Motor Vehicles in Mexico
for $1.51 an hour, just to name a few. There is power. Power in our
ignorance, in our consumption, in our corruption...and in our
The words, however, of a young brother still ring clear to this
day. He asked, "Damm brother are you against everything? What the hell
you wants us to eat, drink, smoke, wear or ride?" I smiled and replied, "
Maybe it's time we fast, unrobe and walk." "What? You must be crazy?! You
want me to not eat, get naked and walk? Shit, you've lost your mind." He
may be right. I've lost my mind. Its always feeling a bit lighter as the
chain strapped to my head begin to fall off.
I smiled once again and left him with this, "Young brother we may
need to fast to purify the poison we've put in our body. We may need to
unrobe, slowly, to show what we've been hiding. I don't mean literally
stripping, I mean unveiling the skeletons in our closet. Finally the time
has come we may need to stop driving and start walking....This can no
longer be a sermon, a lesson, or one person preaching. The time has come
to stop talking and start walking. If not, we may be headed for our own
To Comfort The Disturbed, and To Disturb The Comfortable
Cesar A. Cruz-independent human rights activist, hip-hop educator....
His works have been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles tImes,
La Opinion, 4080 Hip Hop Magazine, Groundswell (PA.), North Coast
X'Press, The Nation, Eye of the Storm (Philadelphia, PA.), Auto-Free
Times, and many others
What are your thoughts on this poem?.
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