Ken Arkind and Minor Disturbance rep Denver in HBO's Brave New Voices

Categories: Poetry

"Sweatshop"

I remember waking up and her already being gone
She would catch the ruta before the sun and arrive home after dawn
Being awake that early in Juarez can be dangerous for a woman
She always lied and said she was a fashion designer but in reality she spent long hours
Sewing holes in designer jeans that her children would never wear
The Maquiladora swallowed her and she just became part of the machine

Slavery is the epitome of capitalism
A system built on inequality
for some to taste this kind of excess
Others have to live in poverty
So this is not some unfortunate side effect of a society built in the image of a pyramid it is
the purpose

Every step you take was made comfortable at someone else's expense
It's easy to point your fingers at CEO's and foreman
But the shirt on your back puts a weight on your shoulders

How did we allow the earth to become so lopsided?
The world's axis is tilting but we are standing still

The key to our obedience is a thirst for possessions
Cause they've got us so conditioned that we purchase our oppression
Now we've all switched to high definition deception

If the purpose of Democracy is to ensure equality
but money equals power then there in no room for poverty

And capitalists thrive on separate classes so they're opposed to this
So it's impossible for Capitalism and Democracy to coexist
Socialists and independent journalists have noticed this
But the TV won't tell you that, cause the real enemy owns that shit

So they control the information, economic weaponry
So we fight among ourselves and never ask "who's the enemy?"

Ninety percent of the wealth is owned by less than 10 percent of the populous
It would seem then that the answer to this question would be obvious
The problems also own the media on top of this
And News Corp is consumed by two thirds of the world's audience
And they literally went to court to defend their right to lie to the public
There's no way to speak out, they'll disconnect your mic if you try and discuss it
So why aren't people disgusted?
The equation can't equal getting mad if
An untainted source of information is subtracted
So the First Amendment's lost if they pretend that being honest
Isn't necessary if it starts infringing on the profits
Information's disregarded for more profitable topics
But they own the information box so there's no way to stop it

It's not just the NEWS
My mind has been swooshed with images of success

From a glistening Michael Jordan dunking on giants with ease
To a series of soccer getting players crossed and statues of Cristiano Rinaldo rising
And I've been told these moments were brought to me by shoes

When Nikes are worn by legends they become symbols of national pride
Which makes me wonder, who built them?
Who has blisters on their hands so our heroes don't blister on their toes
These logos are nothing to be proud of
Because the slaves were not freed just outsourced

A knight is nothing without a blacksmith
So why do athletes hoard the glory of glamorous commercial montages
If they were still burdened by honesty surely this sweat wouldn't be the color of Gatorade
The stars would be tired to run
Fingers too blistered to dunk

But if a knight is nothing without a blacksmith
Then these slaves are responsible for these victories too

They were never blessed with body armor so Nike swooshes whipped exposed backs
scarring them with Adidas stripes like Just Do It
They reached for Converse Stars but couldn't get enough air
Jordan's laces pulled them back into slavery

They've sewed tongues into your shoes rendering them voiceless
Having trouble swallowing their malnutrition
Have you ever wondered whose soul you're walking on?

They are the souls that sew your sols
The little feat that fill big shoes
The weary backs that hold the globe
The little hands that stitch the world

And they've been feeding us propaganda since our conception
But we paid for it
We asked them to lie to us
So when establishing your personality with logos
When wearing your poverty like a badge
Never mistake yourself for the oppressed

We are the Monsters
We are the cogs that keep the world spinning tilted
We too, have been swallowed by the machine


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