by Brianna Skildum LeGarde

Brianna Skildum LeGarde

Your country used to have a dream

You people who came here
Came here dreaming

You dreamed that you would not be judged
By the occupation of your fathers
By the clothes you wear or the homes you live in
By the country or culture from which your ancestors hail from

But that you would be judged based on the content of your character
That you would be free to write your own stories
Be your own judges of character
Be your own masters

You then created a country where unfortunately that dream was fulfilled
Because the definitions changed

Being free to write your own stories
Really meant unwriting the stories of others
Stealing the plot points you like and leaving the rest

Being your own judges of character
Really meant being the deciders of what was good character
Simply equating that to however you already were

Being your own masters
Really meant being the masters of what you thought you were entitled to
Slaving away at invalidating other human life

You came to this land with a beautiful dream
And you ruined it

And we who have been watching
We don’t know how to fix it anymore

You came here with a beautiful dream
A dream that was parallel with the cultural practice of the people who were already here
You didn’t see that
And you ruined it.

We will fix your mistakes
We will forgive you because it is what we do
But we will not forget your transgressions
Your disrespect to this land and the people here

We will not forget how you tore people from their homes
In the dead of night
And told them that without you
They’d be worse off

We will not forget how the better life you promised them
Actually meant a life of sickness
Of dysentery, smallpox, alcoholism, homicide

We will not forget. We will never forget.
But unlike you, we know that every human life is valuable.
So we will help you.

We see that you are not inherently evil
But taught to be
Not organically malicious
But taught to be

We will teach you
How to love
How to truly not judge a person
How to truly be your own master and nothing more

We will teach you
Like you should have let us do in the first place
And you will see what life is like
When that dream that brought you here
Really comes true

Brianna Rain Skildum LeGarde