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Minneapolis-Bastille Revisited?

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

Centuries of separation

Have mollified any condemnation

Of Parisian protestors who dared to defy law and royal order.

The protest of the impoverished and the intellectuals

Now graces historic tomes

Which idealize these heroes' sacrosanct infamy.

Surely someone spoke then

Of their reckless disregard for orderly restraint

And their savage, apoplectic embrace of long-festering wrath.

How was tonight different?

At what point does patience and pleading

Get replaced by rasping cries for justice and reparation.

Our revolutionary tea carousing

In Boston Harbour is now the glorious

Stuff of patriotic legends.

Our ancestors' rage was undeniably justifiable.

We do not question its merit or fame

Yet tonight’s precinct rebellion is overlaid with our national disdain.

How can that be?

Are we nothing more than bald-faced hypocrites

Finding exceptionalism in our forbearers’ identical deeds?

When can we dig our collective selves

From the lies promulgated over centuries

Of shameless crimes against those

We needed to claim our constitutional comfort

And seal our young nation's success

Upon the broken backs of immigrants

Who did not seek to breach our parapets

Before they were stolen from their distant homes

To be sold into our bartered living Hell.

We cannot cleanse our consciousness

Without giving voice to their anger.

These equally true Americans long since earned their right

To the rugged idealism and freedom

We wear on our beaked red caps

Which scream recycled slogans extolling the myth of greatness

Wherein we crown thy good with brotherhood.

Tonight's rioters see that we do not yet deserve such a crown

But it is now the only legacy left for us to cajole.

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