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Slave of Assimilation

After living here for so long
For the first time I feel foreign
There were many times before I was discriminated against
But not like this time
“You know we are like the cavemen from the past” he said. “Like likes like. When your people dress like that, it looks foreign…”
His argument was we must be like the dominant culture
Shed our identity and replace it with theirs
True there are some things we inherit by living with a dominant culture
Even mentality
But even if I left who I was for them
Could I be fully accepted?
I could never be them
For I would never be them
And therefore I would never be me
Then who was I?
What’s the difference between me and somebody else,
If I cannot offer insight?
What is the joy of living in this world if we were all the same?
Why do I have to live my life as an actor?
Being a slave of Assimilation?
Have I not “assimilated” by walking these streets and following the law?
What more must I do?
What permission must I seek to be accepted by them?
Can’t I be me and be free?
It goes on and on and on doesn’t it?
It’s a pity you can never make people happy
But setting the record straight is necessary
Turning misinformation on its head is necessary
Being successful is necessary
Advising legal is necessary
It is not that they are expected to bend to us
Rather, it is this group of people that are legitimately distinct than that group of people
Just because I do not live exactly like you
And look exactly like you
And pray exactly like you
And eat exactly like you
Does not mean we expect you to bend to us
It is important to understand differences and see where accommodations can be made
I want my children to thrive just as much as you want your children to thrive
The only difference is you came before me
Saying things cannot change for us or go back to your country is not a sentiment of welcome or progress
It is a symbol of arrogance and intolerance
Living in a democracy does not make it okay to trump another’s identity
If we live in society together, we must not just assimilate only while not advising the majority of our struggle and identity
Can’t it be possible for a law or policy to be advised?
We must live healthy, and serve and protect ourselves and them
The day my father came here was the day he dedicated himself to making this nation better
Remember that the next time you tell me to go home
For far before you determined that I must Assimilate
You ignored to realize that I too give to this nation every day
And if you can be free
Then I should be free
But you are free because you were born this way
I wish I was free
But only when I have to stop being a slave of Assimilation…

Published inpoetry