Image source: aistm.org/fr-0711.gamma.phi.beta.sorority.party.htm
Attendees at a theme party held by Gamma Phi Beta sorority at the University of North Dakota in 2007. Image source: aistm.org/fr-0711.gamma.phi.beta.sorority.party.htm

Fighting Redface Revelers With Poetry: 'Frats,' by Jozer Guerrero [Video]

ICTMN Staff
2/5/15

It's no secret that Jozer Guerrero is addressing white college kids in his poem "Frats," but he tries to differentiate between pigment and attitude: "Your skin tone has never bothered me," he says.

What bothers him is the attitude of superiority—"white privilege" is the current buzz term—that dehumanizes Hispanic and Indigenous peoples to the point that their culture and identity become party themes. In a climactic moment, Guerrero speaks of reclaiming his culture from those who trivialize it:

I snatched my grandfather's sombrero from his girlfriend's head 
Didn't your mother teach you to respect the dead?
The dead! The dead called and asked me to retrieve their belongings
So I'll take my grandma's feathers and my little sister's moccasins
My mama always taught me to ask before taking things that did not belong to me.
And just in case you have forgotten: We do not belong to you!

RELATED: A 3-Minute Must-Hear Poem: "Love You Some Indians" Says It All

This performance was filmed in the preliminaries of the National Poetry Slam, where Guerrero was competing on the Denver team:

You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page