Posted by: benbacsierra | August 14, 2017

A Response to Racism

Overall this “neo”-racism is triviality. People, gente, who know and understand vida loca know racism has always been the reality: there is no old racism or new racism. Racism has been a perpetual state of being here in this place. Anyone who thinks they can school a vida loca homeboy or homegirl is speaking gibberish and blasphemy. It seems like only the vatos locos y locas know essential truths:

There is only one life: vida loca.

There is only one goal: death.

Now, what has changed, but is not entirely new, is the boldness of white racists; however, let’s not believe their rhetoric is a product of spontaneous combustion. This shit has always been there, sometimes outright, sometimes undercover. We, the gente, our existence, are proof of racism in the United States. Impoverished, imprisoned, uneducated, yet at the same time resilient, honorable, and creative. We pick peaches and construct skyscrapers better than any of these neo-nazis or hipsters, and after work we party ten times hardier than they ever can. We understand truth because we understand dirt. Without our hands, there is no beautiful, colorful fruit salad on any plate in any ritzy restaurant. There is no gourmet coffee in any hipster hangout without our fingers picking the beans, without our paws working the mud and shit, under not a neo-nazi’s tiki torch, but under the torch of the sun, our biggest torch of truth: Huitzilopochtli, the Aztec sun god, the god of war and sacrifice.

Sun God

So, we know the truth; however, this does not mean we should dismiss the racist momentum that is occurring throughout the nation. Overt racist politics and mass media propaganda distortions are fueling an antagonistic hate we have not seen in fifty years.

Our vato loco cockroaches can be inspirations. Our imprisoned brothers can be role models, for under the worst conditions, they have become physically fit and formulated power. I am not advocating imprisonment because as we know, unfortunately, once these imprisoned brothers are released, they cannot help but many times take on subservient roles or be caught in the terrible cycle of recidivism. But their creativity and resilience can be uplifting for us who have more opportunity and freedom than them, yet we do nothing as transformational as they do. Every single day in prisons across the United States, they challenge violence, fight boredom, and become more physically fit than most crossfit athletes.

Brown people, we are the majority.

We have succeeded in the jungles, the concrete, the prisons, and the abyss. We are strong and effective and have proven ourselves beyond anyone’s expectation:

Barrio Bushido: Street Honor, Family Honor, Community Honor.

Brutal Truth.

Today is a shock and panic only for those who believed that politicians or police officers could and would save us. Many had been comforted by “manufactured consent,” but in reality, it was false. This social media shit is a lie. The greater mass media is an even bigger lie.

Politicians and police officers are predators and puppets.

The only ones you can count on are your own. The only way to truly come up is with you, your familia, and your community. We must make ourselves even stronger and smarter than ever.

This moment is opportunity.

Spirit matters most:

Education, our own education: What book you reading, homes? What poetry you writing, love? What you teaching your children?

Physical fitness: You eating broccoli? You hitting your pushups? You dancing on the streets?

Discipline: What time you waking up? What goals you got?

Creation: What you working on right now? When you going to deliver?

Amor: Have I told you today how much you mean to me, how much I love you now and forever? Do you know how much I love to embrace you?

Unless we have lost our minds and spirits, nothing has really changed. It is a new day to breathe. It is a new day to triumph.

Every day is both an apocalypse and a resurrection.

What this means is that every single day we must accept the inevitability of our own mortality, our own frailty, yet we cannot allow this to overwhelm us because in the absurd there is hope. There is a next day. Not even a nuclear missile can prevent the sun from rising. The next day will come, and it is very likely that we, loco y loca cockroaches, will survive because as you know the smartest scientists say that we are the only ones durable enough to make it through the nuclear blast and radiation fallout. That means we have duty. That means we are the ones who will create a new world.

Our world. It is up to us.

Posted by: benbacsierra | August 8, 2017

Poetry Against the Police in the San Fran Mission

From August 7ths beautiful Lunada Literary Lounge: Poetry Against the Police!

Share with urgent amor!

 

 

Poetry Against the Police

At La Mision’s monthly Lunada Poetry Reading on Monday, August 7, 2017, in the heart of La Mision, during an evening of love and celebration, a packed crowd witnessed the unreasonable logic and entitled arrogance of the San Francisco Police Department.

After singing a poem and during intermission, I saw a clearly distressed frail white homeless man fearing for his life. He was almost crying. He then stopped in front of me and the people I was speaking with, and he threw himself on the ground and completely submitted himself in front of us. A buffed out San Francisco police officer with his shotgun in port arms position was aggressively running down the street towards the crowd and then he and his partner arrested this distressed man. There was absolutely no reason for the police officer to have pulled out a shotgun to apprehend this frail man. There was absolutely no reason for this police officer with a loaded shotgun to endanger and terrorize the community. The police officer could have easily gotten nervous and started pulling the trigger. This is not an isolated incident. The San Francisco Police Department has unlawfully killed many Mission community members, including Alex Nieto, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, and Luis Gongora.

The senior police officer at the scene tried to justify his partner’s actions, but he was either lying or ignorant about what a “less than lethal” shotgun can do. Note the language of the firearm’s name: it is less than lethal, but not totally non-lethal. We, the crowd, were at point blank range, and if any one of us would have reacted justifiably apprehensive because of this buffed out police officer’s demeanor and actions, then he could have started shooting at us in the crowd. If you think this is hyperbole, please investigate the case of Alex Nieto, who was shot at 59 times by the SFPD for eating a burrito in a gentrified neighborhood.

After I educated them about why we would be reasonably in fear of our lives, the senior police officer dismissed us and then started leaving. The buffed out police officer, before getting back into the squad car, stated “They’re ignorant.” When I rebutted this snide comment, the police then began to try to intimidate me and the crowd, even though all I was doing was practicing my guaranteed First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The senior police officer got out of his car and stated: “You’re not going to stand out here in the middle of the street and walk up to me.” I was totally unarmed. He was going to try to arrest me or worse! I rebutted him with clear and concise arguments, and he did not seem to know how to respond, so they left. Note that no matter how nice the senior police officer may have seemed to be to some people watching this video, he was going to exert beyond his full force once someone questioned his arrogant authority. We, brown people, must experience this type of brutal, condescending, and dismissive attitude on a daily basis.

Yet we rise! We fight! Our culture cannot be killed.

Amor for Alex Nieto and La San Fran Mision!

Benjamin Bac Sierra, M.A., J.D., USMC, SFM

 

Love and credit to Luis Gutierrez, a reporter with KBBF, for filming the encounter.

 

Posted by: benbacsierra | July 28, 2017

“The Man Who Wrote Nothing but Poetry” Historical Video

“The Man Who Wrote Nothing but Poetry” Historical Video

A posting to share with lots of love 🙂

Poetry and history combined. Listen to stylistic words and jazz and watch the creative community history of the San Fran Mission! Always in all ways, love and blessings to you and your families and friends.

 

“The Man Who Wrote Nothing but Poetry”
Inspired by Leopoldo Maria Panero’s “El Hombre Que Solo Comia Zanahorias”

The man who wrote nothing but poetry
Could not tie his shoes
Nor take apart an engine
He understood the abyss
Believing it was separate from his own destruction
Trusting he could outwit the omnipotent
With the power of word

The man who wrote nothing but poetry
Sacrificed pussy and petty pleasure
Abandoned his own potential
For days and weeks he would not speak
Refusing conversation and chit-chat
Repudiating whispers so
He could save up might
For the magic of
Just
One
Word

A whirlwind
A damnation
A heaven
Then the man who wrote nothing but poetry
Would dance in the dead-end alleys
On the rooftops
Alone he would bop
Strangers would think he was shadowboxing
But he was actually in bliss
The sublime
The goal that cannot be got

The man who wrote nothing but poetry
Did lots of drugs
Was dangerous
He wanted his life to be just like a poem
With fire and stone
Water and wood
Diamonds and uranium
A fake forever

He would wake and write
Hunched in his hole hammering away
His family thought he was a fool
For relying on rhymes that writhe
Images that fade
Metaphors that make no sense
That no one would even read
Worthless words
Lost life

The man who wrote nothing but poetry
Wandered the streets mumbling
Sometimes screaming
He refused to squander his precious words
On those who could not understand
Would never understand
He felt poems were friends
That would never betray
But the man who wrote nothing but poetry
Deluded himself

The words cried
The words lied
The words died

Sometimes the man who wrote nothing but poetry
Could not write a line
It crushed him
He eventually gave up family and
Love and people and pets and style

The man who wrote nothing but poetry
Ate only poultry
Wore nothing but rags
Would walk around barefoot on crushed glass
His teeth fell out of his face and
He would venture out only at midnight
Which is the witching hour
The hour of poetry
Then he would pray his poems
Sweating blood
Enchanting spirits

And that was enough
To be his own God
The man who wrote nothing but poetry

 

 

Subscribe to Barrio Bushido TV on Youtube and todobododown.com for mas firme videos and writing 🙂

Posted by: benbacsierra | July 7, 2017

“O.G.”

For the brother who was too much for this world, my carnal: James “N Jeff” Bac Sierra, R.I.P

OG N JEFF

“O.G.”

Full force fast forward
Beyond the speed of light
Original Gangster
Original Genius

Who cracked the code that revealed
The schoolbooks
Streets
Prisons
Educational institutions
Television sets and
Mickey Mouse (ABC) news programs
Were all a hoax

With their mild mannered Midwestern voices
They programmed people into believing that there was truth
And that they knew what it was
That they had the market on the motherfucker
They knew what was good for you
Good for sheep

Original Genius
Todo Bodo Down
Everyone else played the fool
Buying into weasel words
And far out fantasies like
Justice
But you played it cool
Experimenting
Hustling
Inventing on your own
Your own identity
Beyond the theory of relativity

When they look back at this time
100 years from now
They will see it was you who was
Smarter than Shakespeare
And like his plays and poems
You will be recreated thousands of times over
Your graffiti on the wall
Your prison letters
Your poetry of life
Of lowrider locura
Were the purest mutinies of the mind
The Original Genius
Revolutionary of cockroach class

Posted by: benbacsierra | July 5, 2017

“America, the Poem”

 

Share with faith in our force:

 

My gift to you all: some words, music, and art. This video is our history, our American history, and more of this type of history will be coming once the “Amor for Alex Nieto Memorial” is established on top of Bernal Heights. I guarantee you this historical artistic educational political poetic slideshow is more scholarly than school and more entertaining than film. Watch closely and connect the words with the images. We create authentic curriculum and share it for fulfillment and empowerment.

Enjoy!

 

“America, the Poem”

Ahh-Mehr-EEE-Kah
With a Spanish accent
About a lost explorer
Amerigo Vespuchi
Who discovered nothing
But at least got it right that this place was not
China

My country tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
Treacherous mountains
Soothing snow
Hell heat
Chicago wind
Fog along the Frisco bay
The Tennessee Waltz
New York salsa
Kansas City royalty
Denver tough guys
Oakland jungles

We got it all
McDonalds’ golden arches
Big Mac hamburgers
Full-time obesity and strangling varicose veins
A talented athlete who can stuff down his throat
72 hot dogs in ten minutes
Lowrider cars cruising down pot-holed streets
Hobos hunting through garbage cans for aluminum gold
Iphones and apps and assholes
Brown men washing dishes
Black women strutting down the street
White girls with diamond smiles
Rednecks with red anger
Chinese folks practicing the deadly art of Tai Chi in green parks
Indians with green cards landing top notch jobs in Silicon Valley
Indians on reservations drinking too much smoking too much
Dying too much

The Statue of Liberty
Aint got on any panties
Underneath that gown
Always ready to fuck
Her torch is lit but it aint for light
It’s for burning shit down

Resist
Conform
It’s the same damn thing
Cook the meth
Eat your broccoli
Snort the Coke
The famous 70’s Coca Cola slogan
It’s the real thing
What the world wants today:

Capitalism
The birth of a nation

And we all eat it up
Our own baby
This shit sandwich
This imperfect existence where
Little old ladies love driving their big old Cadillacs
But they aint gonna take that Middle East machinegun nest
For some gasoline
Which means that
We all are to blame and question in the biggest wars ever fought and
Those biggest wars that we’ve always won
Lest we forget who we are
Lest we play ignorant about what this all means
Humanity goes out the window
Cause we all need more spaceships and
Rocket fuel and more chips and speed

America
You are my bitch
America
You are my reflection in the mirror
America
You are capable of anything
Murder and mayhem
War and destruction
Love and tenderness
I pray that your
Holy hills
Bless us
Keep us
Safeguard us from ourselves
America
You trick me and get me stoned
Supercharging your smoke
Into my cancered lungs
America
You break my heart into 1,776 pieces
Yet
Still
I love you

A true patriot
Looks you in the face
When they lie and tell you
The tragic truth

 

 

Video and music are for non-profit educational and cultural teaching and pedagogy.

 

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

“Our Culture Cannot Be Killed”
(A poem dedicated to the erased mural on 24th and Folsom, SFM, and a response to the wise words of weasels)

Patronize me bully me oppress me mock me
Murder me
Tell me I’m all fucked up
I need that from you
Your manners and etiquette
Your command:
“Be A Good Person”

I better be a good boy
So I should make sure and
Ask you
Is this what you mean?

Be:
Not my existence but
Your existence your air your being is what it means “to be”—
Hamlet lied—
There is no “not to be”
All being is you
What you say it is
Trademarked by your
Flag of force
No other reason to live except for your
Disneyland dreams and McDonald’s mansions
Those golden arches
Guiding me to
The entrance of pearly gates
Glittering estates full of flowers and green grass
Green dollars
Fluorescent green glowing from
Nuclear blasts
Lay on the sweet bed of being
Don’t worry
You will not melt

A:
Like the Fonz “Ayy” thumbs up, leather jacket, milk smile
A
Happy Day
Which is
One
No plural community
Only one alone
Independence in the manner of
Good old fashioned American independence
Selfishness sickness
Cause you can do it without others
This place is yours for the taking
Manifest Destiny, homes!
A
A
A
A luxurious lie
A horrible hoodwink
A deception to make you believe that simply
Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps
Is possible for the majority of you all
When the majority of you all got
Giant red bullseye targets tattooed on your backs
The day you were born

Good:
Now we get to the good stuff
Morality ethics principles scruples decency
Purity
Clean
WHITE
Look it up in the dictionary cause it’s right there for all to read:
Of the color of pure snow
The opposite of Black
(Brown, of course, is shit)
Innocent
Without evil intent
Honest
Honest
God is White
Blonde hair blue eyes
Be good
Like God
Who makes the laws and
Breaks the laws yet
Expects you to abide by them nonetheless
Be part of this paradox
Good good good boy
Pat you on the head like a dog or
Massacre you on the street like a bad

Person:
Homo Sapien
Latin for “wise man”
(No stupid shits allowed)
Human being
A worthy vessel of existence
Not some fucking hunched over monkey savage animal Indio
But a real live erect walker
Straight like a hard dick
Sometimes he holds that name
Like Dick Nixon
AKA
Tricky Dick
AKA
President Richie Nixon
A person like that
Nice and normal
Upright
Walking and talking that game
Commanding you
“Be A Good Person”
And you gotta salute and respond
“Aye, Aye, Sir”
Cause that’s the fucking commander in chief
A good person

Our Culture Cannot Be Killed
Skulls and cholos
Aint got no good people
We got the dregs of the gutter
The mamas from the fields
The papas from the prisons
The kids from the streets
We got color but it aint bright
It’s dark
Gruesome green
Battered blue
Beat down brown
Righteous red
A rainbow of reality aint no good but it’s better
Than a command to what I know is worse
Gentrification of the mind
Assault on authentic ideas
An unloving of myself of my people

You be a good person
I love my gente too much to betray them
Together in hell is better than your heaven

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the photos and community creativity 🙂

1

This past Carnaval weekend the community gifted us another $1,118.00 for “The International Amor for Alex Nieto Memorial!” Special thanks to Roberto Hernandez for donating the booth to us and to Josue Rojas and Ivan Gomez for the great poster and t-shirt images that people loved! Besides taking dozens of pictures of gente supporting and donating, we passed out hundreds of fliers and created important community connections, including a cement company CEO that offered to donate his services for any cement work needed for the memorial. By the end of this summer, we plan to have enough funds to break ground and begin construction of this international quality memorial on top of Bernal Heights, which will be viewable in all its colorful glory from the San Fran Mission 🙂

Once the memorial is established, community members will hike up to that mountain and pray like Alex did and look out over the beautiful view of San Francisco and be inspired by our community resilience. Students will travel up to that hill for field trips and to learn about the history and creativity of our community; they will write thousands of educational essays. Families will pilgrimage hands together and love each other at the place where Alex breathed his last breath. This will be a place of peace, of inspiration and amor.

Against the violence and injustice of 59 bullets, family and community rose to defend honor and promote positive spirit.

 

Amor for Alex Nieto: March 4, 1986 to March 21, 2014.

 

You, too, can donate for the Alex Nieto Memorial at the gofundme account here: https://www.gofundme.com/amor4alexnieto

Finally, check out how we are using social media to uplift each other and promise beauty for our community. For every promise that a person wrote down to help their community, I happily gifted them a copy Barrio Bushido (special thanks to El Leon Literary Arts and Tom Farber for donating the books). Allow these community members’ words to inspire and guide you. They came from all walks of life, all age groups, all races, creeds, and colors.

 

This is our 2017 CARNAVAL CONSTITUTION!

 

  1. I will help elderly neighbors.
  2. I will stand against any injustice done to my neighbors and community.
  3. Make sure to do at least one positive thing for someone else every day.
  4. I will not bill for posters.
  5. I will fight for justice for James Nate Greer.
  6. Stay loyal to my soul and continue to fight for equality and justice.
  7. I will fight and do my part to keep community centers alive for the children in our communities and for us.
  8. I will always advocate and fight for nuestros derechos.
  9. Alex, we love and miss you; gone too soon. A true loving Misionero. I’m proud to call you a brother in the Latino community.
  10. Oscar Hererra: la lucha sigue. What happened to Alex Nieto is an injustice. Together we create love and will look for justice.
  11. Keep the neighborhood alive.
  12. I want my barrio back!
  13. Isable Guttierez: Quieremos un monument para Alex! Vamos a pelear!
  14. Olman Acosta: be there for the people that need help.
  15. Taliva Tello: I’ll keep my culture alive and always support and protect and fight for my people.
  16. Jonathon Rosa: teach my students about racial profiling and the need to abolish the police.
  17. Wendy Delgado: Alex Nieto, mi meta es ayudar a nuestra comunidiad.
  18. I promise to protect my culture and influence love. We are all God’s children.
  19. Sophia Guerra: I promise to fight for working class communities through art, direct action, and know your rights.
  20. Bring awareness to our youth on our streets of the violence that is increasing.
  21. Every chance I get to provide a job opportunity to anyone that needs it by referring them to programs and trades.
  22. Help out in any way with our people by bringing positive vibes and showing our next generation the way.
  23. Project love to the people every day.
  24. The Ambassadors Circle would like to promote this powerful story on our podcast 360 Bay Area.
  25. Lowrider Council organization for Carnaval parade.
  26. Always stand up for your rights no matter what or who you are!
  27. I’m gonna help spread the word about the case try and open eyes to what’s really going on out here.
  28. Waste management education.
  29. I will be a strong role model for younger generation in my community and show them that they are worthy of self love.
  30. I will empower those around me to persevere and provide what resources I can.
  31. Encourage and educate youth to get involved in social injustice events around the Bay Area.
  32. Total healthcare and education.
  33. Take care and watch out for my brothers.
  34. Reach out to the youngsters. Keep pushing positive vibes and outreach.
  35. Resist and keep helping the community.
  36. When I am a teacher, I will make sure all my students eat, as for now, I will do my best to ensure the children I know and children in my community eat.
  37. Help mentor troubled youth.
  38. Don’t for tomorrow since tomorrow brings its own worries.
  39. Open up my barber shop to the young kids of the Mission.
  40. I will make a film to show the story of Alex Nieto and the importance of the Chicano community in the Mission and share it with the world to support us and justice for Alex and our community. Viva Alex! Viva la gente Chicano!
  41. I commit to educate women to respect themselves and demand it from others. I will encourage men to see the king in themselves and to strive for excellence.
  42. I will/am going to volunteer at Cesar Chavez Elementary School next semester.
  43. I will fight for young Brown and Black people every chance I can. God bless you, Alex. We love your mom and father. You will forever be in our hearts. Sherri Arnold.
  44. Going away to college to become a surgeon, so I can come back to the Mission to offer my services to my community and city.
  45. Apoyamos la lucha por la justicia en todos momentos!
  46. Si Se Puede!
  47. United we stand, divided we fall. What say you?
  48. Pass out roses to brighten women’s day.
  49. Get out the positive word that our immigrant communities Black and Brown brothers and sisters are here to stay and should be treated with dignity and respect.
  50. Amor primero antes de todo. Protejar a nuestros jovenes. Trump got to go.
  51. Look out for younger homies on the block. Teach them right from wrong.
  52. Teach the young kids the right things.
  53. Donate to the memorial.
  54. Promote self love for all the young people of San Francisco who struggle to survive.
  55. Continuing to show up and volunteer with the youth and contribute in any way that I can. Also continuing to educate my fellow white folks to do better.
  56. Self love community love. We need to keep the Mission Spanish speaking.
  57. Teach my students about our community members being killed by the police.
  58. Teach my daughter and my students about police brutality, resistance, and people’s histories—and stop and watch and record encounters between police and the community.
  59. Isabel: all children are the community’s children and they should feel loved and protected by the city/state. RIP Alex—not forgotten.
  60. Finishing my Master’s degree and joining the social work profession to help fight inequality.
  61. Rise, empower, resist. Push through social gentrification and oppression in order to persevere into an actual community.
  62. Continue to math and engineering course to get more folks into STEM careers.
  63. I promise to sponsor kids at Mission Science to study hard and explore the universe.
  64. I will participate and support any and everything needed for the community of SFM where I was born and raised. I volunteer.
  65. I will continue to promote creative self expression through hip hop and poetry and share with the youth what I know and my experiences. Peace.
Posted by: benbacsierra | April 13, 2017

“In Honor of Amilcar: An Argument for Action”

Thích Quảng ĐứcWhat good is education without action?

What good is civilization without humanity?

What good is law without love?

Action for truth.

Action for humanity.

Action for amor, even if it means your life.

On 10 June 1963 Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức believed in love for his brethren monks and was against the persecution of these same brothers. To protest, to sing his voice to heaven, Đức entered a busy Vietnamese street intersection, calmly sat in the meditative lotus position, and set himself ablaze, a burning lotus flower—a firework for freedom. His spark set the entire world on fire.

The fire this time is our blaze that we can use to keep us warm and together, even in the face of all these absurd injustices. It is time we stopped quarrelling with each other. It is time we put away petty grievances and joined. Forgive. I know, I, too, have been guilty of too much tenacity, and I have justified it by using mission accomplishment as an excuse, but today, in the face of overwhelming injustice, we must conclude that there is no mission accomplishment that is worth the defeat of our humanity towards each other. We cannot follow the oppressors’ energy into destruction and decadence.

Amilcar Perez-Lopez was our family, an innocent young Guatemalan Mayan man shot in the back six times by the San Francisco Police Department. Today, April 12, 2017, once again, we see there is no justice, as San Francisco District Attorney Gascon, even with the irrefutable physical evidence, formally refused to criminally prosecute police officers of any crime. There simply is no justice for poor Brown people in this place. That there is no justice should not be a surprise to us, but, instead, it is a rally cry for us to join in common humanity, a mercy for those most vulnerable and exploited.

Amilcar was the least of our brothers, our janitors, our roofers, our ignored immigrants and belittled brown people. At Home Depot and U-Haul stores, you see them waiting patiently and with dignity for the work no one else wants to do. They pick up your dishes from restaurant tables. They did not come here for their own benefit. They came here for survival. They came here for their families, as you would also have come to help your own family.

I do not have answers for what specifically to do next, except to keep going forward and upward with love. Forget the word justice; it is meaningless when they have codified the word into their fat books of ridiculous rules. Only love, that great mystery and most powerful force in the universe, can help us and uplift us in spite of their cruel hand that attempts to keep us down. Please visit the Justice for Amilcar website for guidance on how to support and honor his memory and heal our community. https://justice4amilcar.org/author/justice4amilcar/

Finally, do something: ACTION; do not just theorize or complain, but action and share with each other the best stuff of life. You actually doing something are our hope and inspiration for a better world.

I end with a poem of power, a check unto ourselves about where we stand.

 

“Apolitical Intellectuals”

One day
the apolitical
intellectuals
of my country
will be interrogated
by the simplest
of our people.

They will be asked
what they did
when their nation died out
slowly,
like a sweet fire
small and alone.

No one will ask them
about their dress,
their long siestas
after lunch,
no one will want to know
about their sterile combats
with “the idea
of the nothing”
no one will care about
their higher financial learning.

They won’t be questioned
on Greek mythology,
or regarding their self-disgust
when someone within them
begins to die
the coward’s death.

They’ll be asked nothing
about their absurd
justifications,
born in the shadow
of the total lie.

On that day
the simple men will come.

Those who had no place
in the books and poems
of the apolitical intellectuals,
but daily delivered
their bread and milk,
their tortillas and eggs,
those who drove their cars,
who cared for their dogs and gardens
and worked for them,
and they’ll ask:

“What did you do when the poor
suffered, when tenderness
and life
burned out of them?”

Apolitical intellectuals
of my sweet country,
you will not be able to answer.

A vulture of silence
will eat your gut.

Your own misery
will pick at your soul.

And you will be mute in your shame.

–Otto Rene Castillo

 

Posted by: benbacsierra | January 20, 2017

The Revolt of Los Locos

The Revolt of Los Locos

Revolution belongs to eternity. Revolution was yesterday. Revolution is right now. Revolution will be mañana. Revolution and evolution is the same thing: one cannot exist without the other.

The roots are the reason all flowers bloom.

On March 21, 2014, Alex Nieto got whacked by the cops for eating a burrito in a gentrified neighborhood, Bernal Heights, San Fran, Califas, aka, Aztlan. Fifty nine gunshots cracked the heavens open, his spirit rose, and the insane angels zoomed out of the sky to start some good shit. His blood was the roots; we are the flowers.

La Pura Neta, Homes.

Two years later 10,000 flowers bloomed brightly, splashing iridescent colors on Frisco’s City Hall and on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Chambers, during their formal monthly meeting. Underneath all that carved Victorian beauty and etched artisan work, the Board attempted excuses, performed mediocre rants of rhetoric:

“We can do nothing to help you.”

The locos stood strong. Surrounding the Board, we had them exactly where we wanted.

“Fire Chief Suhr!” in unison, in harmony, in that unmistakable music of the masses.

Less than a month later, he got booted cause we booted him. It wasn’t no resignation. It wasn’t no request by the mayor. It wasn’t no good old fashioned civil rights movement. The revolt of los locos: homeboys and homegirls on the frontline, taking over shit, stirring the pot, creating concoctions of craziness, and putting it all into action. That is what changed history, a history that will never be known unless a loco writes it out, puts his life on the line, and makes it reality.

Amor for Alex Nieto, motherfuckers.

 

alex-giants

Posted by: benbacsierra | December 22, 2016

THE TRUE STORY OF “AMOR FOR ALEX NIETO”

1As the founder and humble leader of “Amor for Alex Nieto,” I, along with the family and coalition members, give thanks to you and wish blessings upon you, our loyal supporters, our true community warriors.

Last night’s Alex Nieto Memorial Celebration was pure love. Today the love blooms; we unfurl the love to friends, to strangers, and even to our enemies.

Amor is love, and the love for Alex Nieto existed before he was killed by the police. Our community love has always survived, but many times the mainstream media, the education system, spite, pettiness, and fear have obstructed our power of amor. We, however, have consciously used this potential to transform the world, even though some think it is politically and realistically incorrect to use amor for action.

On Saturday, March 22, 2014, the night we found out Alex had been killed by the police, it was a three-member group of Alex’s best homeboys and my family who formed a union of love and suffering. At three o’clock in the morning, I called my dear friend and fellow Hastings law school alumnus, super-lawyer Adante Pointer, and he, even without knowing the specifics of the situation, agreed to investigate and take the case. The next morning, hungover yet hungry for justice, the homeboy Lowride and I hit up advice from the mayor of La Mision, Roberto Hernandez. To brainstorm genius ideas and to summon the spirits of the Mission streets, we went cruising in his white convertible Impala lowrider. Looking directly into my eyes, Roberto Hernandez told me it was time for me to be a leader. Before Alex was killed, I had already been accomplishing positive things in the varrio and around the Bay, especially because of the publication of my first novel Barrio Bushido, Alex Nieto’s favorite book, our intellectual street story literature.

The Mission non-profit organization HOMEY, Frank Lara, Roberto Hernandez and others organized the first march, which was on Saturday, March 29, 2014. Running from Kezar stadium, where my daughter Margarita was competing in the state wrestling championship and won third place in honor of Alex Nieto, I showed up at the Mission Cultural Center and immediately began utilizing my street skills, Marine tenacity and forward movement ideology, and my educational experience, having read hundreds of books and written thousands of pages. “Amor for Alex Nieto” was born.

It was Jeff Bac Sierra, my brother, a superstar street homeboy, a man who was both loved and hated, that inspired us to amor. In fact, Alex Nieto loved Jeff because he had marveled at the legend. Both Refugio Nieto and Alex’s brother had witnessed the ferocity of Jeff Bac Sierra, a man full of tortured love and demons, who finally succumbed to the street life. Alex admired my brother’s spirit, and he confided that he felt that spirit through me. Still, Alex had a hard time understanding the concept of gifting away amor. Like many other poor people, Alex thought we should charge for our ideas or do things for money. That is completely understandable, but that capitalist purpose, I felt, should not be the main objective of our unity.

We, best friends, Alex, Lowride, and I, would hit the streets with love and smiles, helping people out with rides, poetry, partying, education, and positive movement. When we would meet, we would greet each other: “What’s up with the movement?” When we parted, we would declare: “I love you, brother.” Amor for Alex Nieto was actually created while Alex Nieto was alive. Love is a difficult concept that many simply cannot accept, and that is why over the past two years and nine months, we, the coalition, have experienced transformation. There simply is no compromise with amor as our living force. The Nietos agree.

Through all of the obstacles and victories, I have done my Barrio Bushido best, which is not perfect, but it has been my best to serve you because I understand and feel that we need service, the ultimate manifestation of bushido, the warrior code. Authentic amor is needed during these difficult times. That is why yesterday’s Alex Nieto Memorial Celebration was beautiful— because the culmination of love bloomed like a flower. We ate well, drank some good shots, smiled, played congas, laughed, and listened to wisdom. We took these pictures, the biggest gathering of the 21st to date. At the exact spot where Alex was killed, Brown and Black were united: street homeboys and homegirls, families, lawyers, law students, activists, muralists, musicians, lovers of life, community. Afterwards, in the dark, we were not afraid because we had each other, and each other is all we need. We embraced, we hugged, we felt the victory of humanity and amor.

This is the true story of “Amor for Alex Nieto.”

Con Todo Humildad, Sinceridad, y Carino,

Benjamin Bac Sierra

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