These Men

David Mendez

These Men
Is what my mother kept calling them
These Men
Is how she would state her point
These Men
Not cops, police, 5-0, and the like
She knows them as “These Men”
We have no need to know their names
We will know them as “These Men”

These Men
Who looked down at my little sister
Like me only a few years old
Just wanting to show her mom a piece of candy
These Men
Who stared down at my mother
And her broken English
Whose judgement was made
At the sound of her accent

These Men
Who would gun down my cousin near the border
These Men
My uncle will never forgive
These Men
My aunt would forgive wholeheartedly
These Men
Creating more unmarked graves

These Men
Who know the names of the Disappeared
Women in Juarez
These Men
That my aunts and cousins must run and never trust in
These Men
Accomplices to the gendercide
In my mother’s homeland

These Men
Armed to the teeth as wannabe soldiers
These Men
Holding the trigger of deadly toys
These Men
Who paint this indigenous land in our blood
And write the tragic pages of this nations history
These Men
Who use our brown children
Our brown faces for photo ops
That leave us more in distress

These Men
Familiar names, classmates, colleagues
Mentors, and leaders
These Men
Capable of killing the same kind
These Men
Who make us over think that our next move
May carry an unwarranted weight of unearned guilt

These Men
Whose guns aim at our flags
These Men
Whose batons beat the children
Of movements
These Men
Who gas and burn us
Because we force the nation to face itself

These men
Wanting to conscript our young
As future token perpetrators
These men
Who see our color as criminal
Our stand as rebellion
Because we are tired of state sanction death

These men
Our constant monster
Urban legends,
Whose flash of the badge leaves us frozen
These men
That continue to cause dysfunction
Disrupting and decimate our families
Robbing our young of a stable home

These men
Who wage urban and military war
On our brown mothers
And those who stand for Mother Earth
These men
Who continue to point their guns at nations
Hired hitmen for industrial complexes
Over the promises of false gold

These men
Who swore oaths for laws
With no respect to whom it will violate
Even. Among their own
These men
Who cause us anxiety
Who cause us to distrust
Because they are seldom questioned for it

These men
Coming as white knights
At the cries of crocodile tears
Of white women
These men
Who would rather
See our cities burn under marshal law
While protecting the home
Of another killer

These men
Whose names we know
These men
Whose names unknown
Like the testimonies left on blank pages
These men
Who retaliate because we call for peace
Spit on our names because of our actions
And rely on a mob to carry their hate

These men
Who put the color of their uniform
Over the lives of all shades
And the white hatred that fuels it
These men
Who we raise our hands in a silent prayer
Only asking that they see us
Before we are delivered into bondage

These men
Who we wait to speak up
That salute the names on plaques of bronze
And say the names of our decease in honorable ways
These men
Who we wait to stand against their own
We ask to look within
And remove their own chains
Made off the bones of our murdered ancestors


About David Mendez
David comes from St. Paul’s West Side community. Inspired by his family’s journey and blue collar roots he hopes to inspire youth and others to share their stories.


These Men Copyright © 2021 by David Mendez. All Rights Reserved.

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