Power Seats

Jonathan Cahill is a 2014-15 NBA XPLOR Resident in Hiram-Mantua, OH. He shares this reflection from his experience at the 2015 Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C.

Sitting in the seat of power, we didn’t cower
We refuse to be silent while injustice occurs every hour
Families in detention, children crying, their mothers are dying
People keep asking, “What’s the point in trying?”
But we can’t quit, we stand up and break the silence,
Rend the chains of bondage and put an end to all of this violence
Now is the time to speak truth to power and remember the slain
10 years, 6,000 dead on our border, ICE has gone insane.

What kind of refuge do we offer? We only offer fear
Terrorizing people who face death just to come here
Whether by fear, or bigotry, or conscientious ignorance,
Somehow we’ve forgotten that we’re a nation of immigrants
But we don’t stop on the border, we bring violence to our streets
Armored tanks, assault rifles, we’ve made an army of our police
Tanisha, Tamir, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray
Killed by brutality, justice falls by the way.

Stop pretending, don’t worry about offending
The sensibilities of those who guard the status quos
Locking up black men, will they ever see the sun again?
They’re caught in insidious recidivism
And I can’t wash my hands of this institutionalized racism
People say detention, rehabilitation, but all that I hear is legalized concentration
Let us wake up from our stupor, let our eyes see,
That when they’re locking up my brother, they’re locking up me.

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The NBA XPLOR Project is a ten-month service residency opportunity for young adults ages 21-30, with the purpose of empowering young adults to discern and develop a “heart for care” as they live together in simple community, engage in direct service and justice work, engage in leadership development, and discern their vocational calls to honor the various communities they are called to serve. Learn more!