Who are Of Color, Women, LGBT, Muslims, Mexicans, Immigrants, Individually Abled
I Conspired Against You.
I Am an Accomplice to the New Rule.
I Am the Ink on the Executive Order.
I’m Sorry as I know I’m Sorry won’t Help. I’m Sorry.
My Flaws Streamline as it took Fascist Rise to Realize
The Reality My fellow beings have Lived- Continue to Live.
I, like you, ignored the Inherent state of Oppression.
But if you’re dwindling, still, in the, ‘I can’t believes this happe’- STOP
Whirl winding in the state of self inflicted delusions.
It’s here, wake from Surreal- It’s really really Real.
You Shift and treat your Consciousness; Or
Stay Dormant. Like you have.
Understand, I am not here to shame you. I’m not.
That is not my Intention.
It’s just- My Attention Tensions Retentions of Neglected Successions.
If like me, remorse criticizes you- Then What Are We Waiting For?
This I know to be true…
We sat back, ignorant to the facts of existence.
I put Me in Mute. Refused to Refute
Around family, friends, acquaintances, Strangers as they
Elevated Egos in Entitled Entitlement
It’s Privilege. Fueled my Stagnancy. To not Conceive-
My Uncle saying, “These N******”
My Sister Petitioning against neighborhood Mosques.
My Father disrespecting his Latinx employees
My Lover describing her co-worker as ‘Jew-y.’
A Stranger yelling “Go back to your country”
For years, I hushed my Guilt.
My Guilt- The Guilt I refused to call my Guilt-
It came in forms of,
“I don’t think that way, so it’s Okay.”
“Yes, I agree. I really do think Women should have equal Pay”
I even frame liking Black Lives Matter. On Facebook. As enough.
You know what- Maybe for You it is Enough.
I’m not here to tell you that it isn’t-
No- No. I don’t think it is.
It isn’t Enough
To Feel the Feels
Passion ain’t Passion until it’s put to Action.
I recall Christmas 2008 - 9 -10
“He’s got no Spine.
He’s awful. Worst President.
His Wife looks like a gorilla”
Even at “Show your papers.”
I still didn’t affirm their reactions stemmed from Nothing but Loathing a
A Person of Color as your Leader.
Just Melanin. Gave you Again, Reasoned Resonant Superiority.
It Was & Is My Silence. Reverberating Aid against Equality.
I’m Sorry when I know I’m Sorry doesn’t cut it.
Sorry won’t evaporate the thrusted Disgrace.
For, my Seeds have long went to Waste.
When I didn’t Militantly Dismiss Ignorance.
Being Inactive, I Nourished Racism
As it stemmed from my Roots.
Our Deformed Perspective.
How can we Shift it?
If Empathy is a continuous Restoration
To Tend to Comprehend. Listen
All my missed opportunities,
To Fuel Soldiered Alliance.
I need You to Join Me.
Take your time if that’s what you need.
Just Know, We’re fighting a sickness that’s Festered over Years, Decades,
Centuries, Generations, and with it, Genealogies.
It’s in Our Blood.
Our Healing comes with being at the Fore Front.
I Will Stand.
I Will Rise.
Beyond the Occasional Check In.
I Vow. To Challenge. I Vow. To Rise
Beyond tears for a Syrian Refugee holding her Dead 3 Old Daughter.
Between the Police Bullet and the 17 Year Old Black Boy.
I am the Wall Blocking Building Bricks of Separation.
The Concrete Rebuilt Defaced Cemeteries.
I am Airport Echoes
“No Hate. No Fear. Refugees Are Welcome Here.”
Obedience of Preferred Gender Identity.
Disobedience of All Straight White Male Hierarchy.
I Vow to Rise
Frozen from Water Cannons, below 20 degrees –
Pepper spray in my Eyes. To Protect your Right.
Your Right to This Land.
Your Right to Live.
Your Right to Your Rights.
Your Right as a Human Being.
I Vow to Rise. I Vow
I won’t just Stand By
Owais Ahmed is a Chicago native and proud ensemble member of Definition Theatre Co. Theatre credits include: The Invisible Hand (Milwaukee Rep), Orange (Mixed Blood Theatre), The Qualms (Steppenwolf), Heartland (PlayPenn), Blood & Gifts (TimeLine), The Reckoning of Kit (First Floor Theater), and Red Handed Otter (A Red Orchid). Other theatre credits: Anon(ymous), The Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing, and Passion Play. Film/TV credits: Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Age of Ice, and Empire. Owais is with Gray Talent.