Friday, March 26, 2010

People’s Tribunal: Women of Color and Healthcare

When asked who I am, I'd love to tell a lie,
But truth is I am Black (colored) and a woman, so despised.
When asked why I claim to have minority status in a world filled with people (colored women) just like me,
I bring up politics and big businesses ran by the world "minority."
The power holding majority
And that's where it counts!
Who has all the power?...
The question to which it all amounts.
Who controls our resources, social institutions, and education?
Who controls the government and language in this nation?
The answer: Certainly not I!
I'm not a man. I'm not white, so how could it be me(?)
When our world is governed by the laws of racism and patriarchy.
But what does this all mean?
Well, Patriarchy is a system where men make the rules and women don't matter
Because it's highly unlikely that they'll be allowed to climb the social ladder.
And racism is hatred based on differences between cultures and extreme prejudice
And in a society like this everybody's gotta be sick...
Physically, spiritually, and in every other way,
Which brings us to the topic of the day...
Women of Color and health care in the U.S. of A.

Now, we all know Healthcare is not for people like me…
A woman…of color… plus, I’m poor, you see!
“Our” healthcare system is a tool to keep more of the same:
Classism, Racism, Sexism, Capitalism, Patriarchy, and White-Supremacy
For goodness sake it’s one of the top 3 U.S. most profitable industries!
Now, to make it all clear for those who don’t see
“Our” system perpetuates classism through capitalism, patriarchy through sexism, and white supremacy through racism. Do you feel me?
No?...Well, life goes on…

Forced sterilizations of Latinas, Natives, and Blacks!
There is a history here of these horrid acts
Remember Tuskegee, Tennessee?
Men haven’t been the only “lab rats” since the slaves where freed
Eugenics, Genocide…whatever
These are the acts that embody the “mainstream” sentiment for women of color…
Even in healthcare
And No! It AIN’T fair!
If you don’t know, now you’ve been introduced
Look it up in a library or on youtube

Now back to healthcare and what it includes, and what it should be, and what we should do
Healthcare, for me, means “taking care of health”
Of the individual, the family, the society, and whatever else
The children of the colored shouldn’t be forced to assimilate
We have cultures of our own…Lets learn, accept, and appreciate!

OR we could keep teaching our children that all that is white is right…white supremacy (hint, hint)
That our children should grow to “talk like them”, “walk like them”, “dress like them”, “BE like them”…
Because what they have is good…and how they got it doesn’t matter
“They” the mainstream, white-american “norm”
The myth that even white folks can’t live up to
But what does the myth do anyway/
It tears at our pride and the self-esteem of our youth
And a system that keeps producing sick people like this
Needs to be destroyed, so something better can exist

A healthcare system that cares so little about whether it’s recipients are being fed adequately, clothed, housed, educated, or happy to be alive
Should do like we can’t help but do and DIE, DIE, DIE!
To be honest we don’t have to stop there
Let’s get rid of this whole capitalist, classist, racist, white-supremacist, patriarchal system!
First we must observe, tear down, then rebuild in order to progress
Even if that means saying good bye to old things
And hello to hard-work and stress!
“How could the devil take a brother if he’s close to me?” A Tupac quote
Let’s work from love like Che said revolutionaries do
Saying goodbye to the current system means a step forward towards a healthier YOU
In more ways than one

Let’s stop being afraid of challenging old ways, of hurting feelings, of disagreeing
Let’s stop being afraid to make a stand and start changing the world!

Simone Lockhart
November 11, 2009
Women of Color
Professors Smith/Lewis/Price
Laney College

Simone Lockhart is now an intern at the Academy of Da Corner. She submitted this poem as a writing sample.

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