A Spoken Word Poem on the Policing of Race and Citizenship

SB 1070, Arizona’s anti-immigrant law, created legislation that allowed for anti-LatinX racial profiling, xenophobia, and outright police violence.

In this spoken word poem, Ela Barton explores the motivation behind Arizona’s policy makers creating such a law and its citizens voting it into action. She suggests that the hateful sentiment is a response to people of color working for themselves and generating inter-community resources, as opposed to subordinately working for white people in positions of power.

These laws are a violent reclamation for hegemonic power, a form of legislative oppression, a continuation of colonization’s vicious legacy, and an effort to protect and sustain white privilege.

Video courtesy of Button Poetry. For more amazing spoken word performances, check them out on YouTube and Facebook.



Please read the following Everyday Feminism articles to learn more about anti-immigrant oppression:

Ela Barton is a queer poet and artist living in Seattle, Washington. She is the 2007 Bainbridge Island Poetry Slam Champion, a four-time finalist of the Seattle Poetry Slam Grand Slam (2009,2010, 2011, 2012) and the first woman to win Jack McCarthy’s Evergreen Invitational (2011). She is the current co-slammaster & founder of the Rain City Poetry Slam and adapted the concept of Vancouver’s “Mashed Poetics” to create a similar monthly, music inspired, poetry show, Liner Notes. Please follow her on twitter @Ela_Vader.