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I See It

You don’t see it
You work in an office
or a store
or some kind of vehicle
you drive
some sort of desk
interact with a computer
shuffle papers
make decisions
that others have to carry out

you are the powerful minority
you live near the top
the lights come on when you flip the switch
the thermostat regulates your temperature for you
hot and cold running water is always available
indoor plumbing takes your waste somewhere else
refrigeration keeps food close and fresh
personal comfortable transportation is a given
global communication is at your fingertips
entertainment is present twenty-four hours of every day

massive quantities of resources from all corners of the earth
are at your disposal
fuel from every source powers your machines
armed militia protect your supply lines at every level
no effort is spared to satisfy your desires
your comfort is more important than all others’ combined

my hands are dirty
my back is bent
I dig ore
I smelt metal
I forge machinery
I harvest food for others
I sew clothing I cannot afford to wear
my children are hungry
my house does not belong to me
my security is non-existent
my future is unimportant
my land is a dumping ground
I live somewhere else
I am invisible
I am indispensible to Free Trade

you need me
Exxon-Mobile needs me
Starbuck’s needs me
AlCOA aluminum needs me
Wal-Mart needs me
Ford, GMC, and Toyota need me

sadly, we need you too
we eat corn grown in Iowa
we buy gasoline refined in Houston
from oil extracted from our own country
we covet your comfort and luxuries
and for these I have forsaken my land, my crops, my livestock
to work in your factory

you don’t see it
I see it
you are an American
I am Arab
I am African
I am Latino
I am nobody
my eyes are weary
I see it


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