by Michael Novick [excerpts]
I have shallow roots
in the blood-soaked soil of Turtle Island.
My father arrived from Bialystok
in the ’30s, in his teens.
There are no Americans in my genes
and my genes are in no Americans.
My non-biological grand-daughter
was raised in Europe and has become a Swede,
married to a Swede,
with two lovely Swedish children.
I am glad she didn’t have to grow up here,
steeped in misogyny and corruption.
My roots are shallow
in this blood-soaked land of Turtle Island,
yet oddly I am taught and told and expected to feel
that this land is my land
that this land is my birthright
that I am white and this is the site
of my manifest destiny,
delivered, signed and sealed.
And if I say, “Stop the Steal!”
and mean, not the election,
but the erection
of an edifice of greed and destruction
on stolen land, on soil soaked in blood;
some people think I am too harsh,
that I’m bogged in a marsh
of white guilt, pointless
and incapable of organizing
for socialism. Share the wealth,
they say. But one day
I know they too will see
that there cannot be
a free society
on stolen land.
Michael Novick is an occasionally-published poet and author. In addition to working on the editorial and production crew of Change Links, he is editor and publisher of Turning The Tide, Journal of Inter-communal Solidarity from Anti-Racist Action – L.A. He serves as the chair of the KPFK Local Station Board, and is on the board of Interfaith Communities United for Justice & Peace (ICUJP).
A retired adult education school teacher with LAUSD and other districts, he was a rank and file shop steward (AKA chapter chair) in United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) and was on their House of Reps and their Human Rights Committee for many years.
Recently elected as a delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America national convention from DSA-LA with Intersectional Socialists for Black Liberation, Michael was a founding member of the BDS-LA Coalition, working on the Amazon Boycott in support of Palestine, workers’ rights, and an end to
corporate involvement in state surveillance and terror.