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

A young poet speaks his mind about fraternity parties that foster racist stereotypes and trivialize the culture of Mexican and Indigenous people.
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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!

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