Cultural Decimation

Was the Trail of Tears not enough?
Centuries of war and disease deemed insufficient,
More agonizing pain decided necessary.
We have inflicted torturous punishments 
on the Native American people—
Dating back to our first arrival here,
Upon the fertile soils of the 
“land of the free and home of the brave”.
In a land that we declared ours, but was undoubtedly theirs first.
Now, after the massacre of their ancestors,
We must increase their pain and suffering.
Yes, because we have the power to, so we will.
Yes, because anyone with non-white pigmentation is lesser than
Here on these “great American shores”.
We must force them onto reservations, 
because of our manifest destiny.
We must make them pay for being here first.
At Coachella we will don their headdresses as fashion statements,
Remaining ignorant to their meaning 
and mindlessly erasing their significance.

I was born into privilege with my white skin.
I was suckled with a head start and a pat on the shoulder.
I will never know oppression based on my pigmentation.
Countless years of mocking their culture and ways,
And now we feel the need to take it.
The need to take seems to be ingrained into American DNA.
Everything must belong to America.
We have colonized these people in their own land,
We have oppressed these people for being different,
Yet, we still want to take their identity from them.
Drain it out of every pore,
grab a fistful of every stereotype
And use it for our own gain.
Oh, the cruel clutches of our capitalistic milieu
How classic that is of America,
Feeding and thriving on everyone else’s pain.

 -Zoe Allen
16 year old writer, filmmaker, and activist from Dallas, TX.