Walls Come Down (poem)

Walls aren’t built to keep people out

But to keep people in

To keep them oppressed

To keep them scared

To hold them prisoner


In ancient times walls were built to keep barbarian hordes out

But they failed to do that time and again

Even the mighty empire of Rome fell to the barbarians


The Berlin Wall divided East from West

Yet people risked their lives to get over it

May we always remember their sacrifice

And always commemorate the fall of this wall


The President talks about building a wall

It was a campaign promise to his most racist followers

But in reality it’s merely a wall around his golf courses

And Mar-a-Largo

To use all this talk of a wall

To hide the fact he’s employed the very people

He says he’s trying to keep out


This wall is not to keep people out

But to keep those here illegally in fear

From speaking out against terrible working conditions

From speaking out for higher wages

From speaking out against exploitation


The people being kept out

And being kept walled in

Have not taken jobs

No, those jobs were taken by employers who wanted profit over humanity

Who employ people to work long hours doing hard labor

Who insidiously made their jobs beneath people who were citizens

Citizens who would have rights under the law


Illegals have no rights under the law

Instead they have the sword of ICE hanging over their heads

Their children are born here as citizens

But they as parents are not free to raise them here

Young children brought here with no memory of the country they left

Are hostages to fear

Unable to DREAM and hope for a life

In the only country they have ever known


This wall that the government was shut down for

Is not to keep people out

That is only the goal of the most fervent of racists

This wall is a way of hiding the real truth here

It is a way of hiding those here illegally

Of holding them prisoners in low-wage jobs

Of holding them prisoner to terrible working conditions

And the constant fear of deportation


Why can’t people see this?

Because they don’t want to see these people here

Because they don’t see these people toiling in the fields

In hot kitchens in their favorite restaurants

Building and maintaining

Cleaning and gutting

Suffering in silence


It’s not racism that truly drives this wall

But the oppression of others for the almighty dollar

Poor people don’t create jobs a well-known modern Pharisee said

The poor, silent, and illegal do the jobs that no one else wants to do


Tear down the walls

Both literally and figuratively

Free those who are oppressed

End fear

Bring hope and dignity to all who toil in honest labor

Give voice to those without one


Walls come down

Not with the blowing of a horn as in ancient times

But with the bang of a gavel

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