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Aug 19, 2009

The Wise Latina
by Efrén Paredes, Jr.
Saturday morning,
protected by the colossal frontal columns
of the nation's Supreme Court
that were once like prison bars
seeking to lock you out of its halls —
before the blinding glare
of flashing cameras
bouncing off adorned walls
absent any images celebrating
your likeness —
there you stood,
the Wise Latina.
Your confirmation hearing
the true identity politics,
the underpinnings of tilted scales,
an indictment of a racist patriarchal system
that stains justice
with its misogynist ways.
Opponents clamored to defame you,
attempted to relegate you
to a footnote in history,
dismissing you
as a child of affirmative action,
as another marginalized brown face,
like the ones they built the wall
along the Mexican border to keep out.
Somebody forgot to tell them
affirmative action
didn't do your homework,
didn't graduate you summa cum laude from Princeton,
didn't edit the Yale Law Journal for you,
didn't make difficult choices
or bequeath you wisdom.
Your strength and poise made us proud
as we were fixated to television screens
at viewing parties
in skyscrapers and barrios,
inspired by your courage,
displaying your buttons and posters,
watching you deflect
the barrage of attacks
you bravely endured
to become the nation's
111th U.S. Supreme Court Justice.
The eyes of many Latinas y Latinos
filled with tears,
as their exuberant smiles
brightened the morning sky.
Your detractors never gained an advantage,
even in their failed attempts to diminish you.
They couldn't erase our illustrious past
or replace it with illusions of inferiority.
They couldn't write our Quinceañeras
or love for arroz, maíz y frijoles
out of our rich culture and heritage.
Carrying a legacy of struggle on your back
you transcended the tide of ignorance,
the protests and intimidation,
and rallying cries for your defeat.
The impotent Kyls, McCains and Sessions
couldn't change destiny,
they could only fulfill it.
It was the Wise Latina who prevailed,
who captivated the world.
Speaking loudly through your elegance
and quiet strength
you silenced your critics,
scattering them like the winds
of a fierce Summer storm.
At that moment
we all briefly touched the sky,
danced in the sun's warm glow,
and summoned the Ancestors
to celebrate your victory.

Efrén Paredes, Jr. is a Michigan prisoner who has been wrongly incarcerated for over 20 years since the age of 15 for a crime he did not commit. To learn more about Efrén's case visit

"I have sought to inculcate in others the importance of weaving a tapestry of unity and awakening their consciousness about their intrinsic value. Through this process we can spawn perpetual growth and rescue humanity from the cycle of despair that evaporates hope."
—Efrén Paredes, Jr.
Many thanks to Care2 member Cynthia D for posting this poem and further information in A.I.M.I. this morning.

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Posted: Aug 19, 2009 6:51pm
Mar 1, 2007
Focus: Human Rights
Action Request: Visit - online
Location: United States
Will David Hicks get a fair trial when he faces a US military tribunal?
                    YES or NO? - VOTE here

                          OZ FLAG

Australian David Hicks has been held without trial in Guantanamo Bay for more than five years after being captured in Afghanistan in late 2001.

US files terror charge against Hicks

Friday Mar 2
Judge Susan Crawford dismissed a second charge of attempted murder against Hicks after concluding there was no "probable cause" to justify it, said Commander Jeffrey Gordon, a Pentagon spokesman.
The military offered no immediate explanation for why the attempted murder charge had been dropped.
But Hicks' military lawyer Major Michael Mori said it was an admission by the US that the charges laid originally against Hicks were made up and had no basis in law and fact.
"It's disgusting that he has spent five years in Guantanamo for made-up charges," Maj Mori told reporters in Melbourne.
"Now they are doing it again. They are repeating history by creating a new crime after the fact and trying to apply it to David retroactively."
Major Mori said he would seek a meeting with Australia's attorney general to complain about the new charge and demand Australia act to bring Hicks home.
"It's about time they took some action and just didn't rely on US assurances in the matter," he said.

Hicks's father Terry Hicks said he felt no relief that charges had been laid and had no renewed faith in the federal government over the progress in his son's case.

[Australian PM] Mr Howard has recently been pressing the US to deal quickly with Hicks.

But Terry Hicks said: "To me it still looks as if they want this over and dealt with and finished before the (federal) elections."

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Posted: Mar 1, 2007 4:12pm


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