Friday, October 10, 2008

Your Black World: I Pledge Allegiance to Truth - By Yorri Berry

I Pledge Allegiance to Truth

By: Yorri Berry

Once upon a time I pledged allegiance

I pledged allegiance to the flag of the United States of America

And to the republic for which it stands

One nation, under God, indivisible

With liberty and justice for all

But today

Today I pledge allegiance to truth

I pledge allegiance to truth

Thus forcing the regurgitation of lies digested for years

So today I stick my revolutionary finger down my throat like a struggling bulimic

Refusing to keep toxic deceit in my purified spirit any longer

And I give you back the lies in the garbage can it should have remained in to begin with

All for justice and liberty with

Indivisible, God under, nation one

Stands it which for republic the to and

America of States United

The of flag

The to allegiance pledge I

Allegiance pledge I

Time a upon once

Upon a time

Stood I

A little caramel mocha girl in my catholic school uniform

I stood there

Watching the American flag blowing with the wind


Hand across my heart

Beating fast

Believing indeed

Having some kind of faith in this country to which I pledged allegiance



I trusted these United States of America to be

One nation, under God, indivisible

With liberty and justice for all

Trusted it to be one nation not one nation rooted in economic & racial separation

On every application wanting to know if I’m African-American or Caucasian

Latino or Haitian

Of Indian decent of or Asian

Yet still claiming to be one nation…under God…indivisible

Embracing liberty and justice

Even then, my petite twelve year-old frame knew that something wasn’t right about me reciting those words authentically

And today, twelve years later, my liberated mind and commitment to truth won’t let me utter such a pledge and still walk away with my dignity

My reciting would be an indication of my saluting you America

And I don’t pledge allegiance to you

No, today I pledge allegiance to truth

Maybe my words make me unpatriotic but I was never a patriot anyway

And if I have to choose between being what you deem a faithful American or revolutionary in thought and deed then I’d rather bring forth revolutions of change any day

Yes I still smell the smoke that covered liberty

131 years and 19 amendments later finally deciding to move forward with the enactment of Women’s suffrage allowing women the right to vote yet still in this 2008 women still don’t receive equal pay for equal work

Yes I still smell the smoke that covered justice

Brutally beaten, shot in the head, then thrown in the Tallahatchie River with a 75 pound cotton gin tied to little 14-year old Emmett Till’s neck while his killer walked and still today the Sean Bell’s of the world can get 50 bullets put inside of him by men shooting and neglecting instead of serving and protecting and still walk away without penalty

Yes I still smell the smoke

And yes the smoke still covers the hope of the liberty and justice you claim to stand for

The oneness you claim to promote

And the only indivisibility with which I can link you to is failure to be worthy enough of my trust

I trusted you to educate my little brothers but instead of investing in his education you prepare him a cell and track him into incarceration by allowing $476 million dollars to build a new prison instead of a better school

I trusted you to do something about the 9 million American children without health care but instead you’d rather be spending billions on a war establishing democracy in foreign nations instead of fighting for egalitarianism and social equality on this American soil, this supposed land of the free you call democracy

I trusted you to heed to King’s dream and do more than deliver broken promises, a broken economy, disconnection and disregard for the fact that freedom ain’t ringing in most of the neighborhoods where the people look like me

I trusted you to make us a priority

Women, elderly, poor, minorities

I trusted you to make us a priority

Yet again you didn’t come through

So today my allegiance is pledged to truth and possessing an undying commitment agitating for liberty and justice for all

Not you America

Not you

Yorri Berry is a Katrina Survivor and a poet who has granted permission to offer her thought-provoking poems to the masses. Look out for more of her highly enriching poems. Click here to Contact Ms. Berry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand the concluding part of your article, could you please explain it more?