Poem first read at Obama's church in 2002 and reprinted in their September 08 newsletter:
Sept 11 — A Moment of Silence… for all those others
by Emmanuel Ortiz
Before I start this poem,I’d like to ask you to join me ina moment of silencein honour of those who diedin the World Trade Centreand the Pentagonlast September 11th.
I would also like to ask youa moment of silencefor all of those who have beenharassed, imprisoned, disappeared,tortured, raped, or killedin retaliation for those strikes,for the victims in bothAfghanistan and the U.S.
And if I could just add one more thing…A full day of silencefor the tens of thousands of Palestinianswho have died at the hands ofU.S.-backed Israeli forcesover decades of occupation.
Six months of silencefor the million and-a-half Iraqi people,mostly children, who have died ofmalnourishment or starvationas a result of an 11-year U.S. embargoagainst the country.
Before I begin this poem:two months of silencefor the Blacks under Apartheidin South Africa,where homeland securitymade them aliensin their own country.Nine months of silence
for the dead in Hiroshimaand Nagasaki, where death raineddown and peeled backevery layer of concrete, steel, earth and skinand the survivors went on as if alive.
A year of silencefor the millions of deadin Vietnam–a people, not a war forthose who know a thing or twoabout the scent of burning fuel,their relatives’ bones buried in it,their babies born of it.
A year of silencefor the dead in Cambodia and Laos,victims of a secret war … ssssshhhhh ….Say nothing .. we don’t want them tolearn that they are dead.
Two months of silencefor the decades of deadin Colombia, whose names,like the corpses they once represented,have piled up and slipped offour tongues.
Before I begin this poem,An hour of silencefor El Salvador …An afternoon of silencefor Nicaragua …Two days of silencefor the Guatemaltecos …None of whom ever knewa moment of peace
45 seconds of silencefor the 45 deadat Acteal, Chiapas25 years of silencefor the hundred million Africanswho found their gravesfar deeper in the oceanthan any building couldpoke into the sky.There will be no DNA testingor dental recordsto identify their remains.And for those who werestrung and swungfrom the heights ofsycamore treesin the south, the north,the east, and the west…
100 years of silence…For the hundreds of millions ofindigenous peoplesfrom this half of right here,Whose land and lives were stolen,In postcard-perfect plotslike Pine Ridge,Wounded Knee,Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers,or the Trail of Tears.
Names now reducedto innocuous magnetic poetryon the refrigeratorof our consciousness …So you want a moment of silence?
Because this is not a 9-1-1 poemThis is a 9/10 poem,It is a 9/9 poem,A 9/8 poem,A 9/7 poemThis is a 1492 poem.This is a poem aboutwhat causes poems like thisto be written
And if this is a 9/11 poem, thenThis is a September 11th poemfor Chile, 1971This is a September 12th poemfor Steven Biko in South Africa, 1977
This is a September 13th poemfor the brothers at Attica Prison,New York, 1971.This is a September 14th poemfor Somalia, 1992. This is a poemfor every date that fallsto the ground in ashesThis is a poem for the 110 storiesthat were never toldThe 110 stories that historychose not to write in textbooksThe 110 stories that CNN, BBC,The New York Times,and Newsweek ignored
This is a poemfor interrupting this program.And still you wanta moment of silencefor your dead?We could give youlifetimes of empty:
The unmarked gravesThe lost languagesThe uprooted trees and historiesThe dead stares on the facesof nameless childrenBefore I start this poemWe could be silent foreverOr just long enough to hunger,For the dust to bury usAnd you would still ask usFor more of our silence.
If you want a moment of silenceThen stop the oil pumpsTurn off the engines and the televisionsSink the cruise shipsCrash the stock marketsUnplug the marquee lights,Delete the instant messages,Derail the trains, the light rail transit
If you want a moment of silence,put a brick throughthe window of Taco Bell,And pay the workers for wages lostTear down the liquor stores,The townhouses, the White Houses,the jailhouses, the Penthouses andthe Playboys.
If you want a moment of silence,Then take itOn Super Bowl Sunday,The Fourth of JulyDuring Dayton’s 13 hour saleOr the next time white guiltfills the room where my beautifulpeople have gathered
You want a moment of silenceThen take itNow,Before this poem begins.
Here, in the echo of my voice,In the pause between goosesteps of thesecond handIn the spacebetween bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence.Take it.But take it allDon’t cut in line.Let your silence beginat the beginning of crime.But we,Tonight we will keep right on singingFor our dead.
THIS is how this "church" chose to remember 9/11...with hate, with a list of social ills and complaints....yeah, very christlike.......but Obama is their Messiah