Ashes and Aftermath

Romita Sur

A poem about the unfair hatred and discrimination of innocent people of colour in the wake of terrorist attacks.

Homes displaced
Lives altered in a blink of an eye
A year after 9/11
They say they don’t see race
But some white teenager told my mother to go home
Do you even know her?
Do you know that if strength would ever manifest, it would emerge in my mother’s scars?
The woman you cussed
This woman who crossed the oceans carrying an appetite of fire
Fire, ash, smoke, destruction
Fueled by hate and fear
Destroying spiritual safe spaces
Because to colonizers, we are all terrorists
You are ignorance
To you, we don’t exist, and our lives are shattered by loss of safety
Community broken and in chaos
Law says the burning of a temple is a hate crime
The perpetrators couldn’t differentiate it from a mosque
Because that makes it so much better
But the law isn’t just to most people
It’s been 10 years
Only now have the perpetrators been charged
But what about the scars and trauma of the community
Is no one going to be accountable for that?
Community has tried to be strong, leaning on each other
As unity and solidarity is what will challenge these injustices and systems
An attack on one is an attack on us all
We will not be silenced
Oppression does not have a place in this world
And simply because we matter

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