This Venice High School senior provokes with his response to the question, what do you want from your life?
Dennis Danziger writes: Tony Lopez-Figueroa is a 17-year-old senior at Venice High School in Los Angeles. When I asked students who are a few months away from graduating exactly what it is that they want as they transition into a new stage on their lives, this is what Tony wrote:
By Tony Lopez-Figueroa
They want me to pull my pants up to my waist, but I love to show my undergarments
They want me to smoke what kills, but I’m determined to inhale God’s vine
They want me to add parts to the machine, but I’m going to ask questions and make it crash
They want me to depend on the government, but I’m off that slave ship
They want me to fear the streets, but I holla, “What’s good my brothers?”
They want me to watch my mouth and speak more fluently; I say F*CK that!
They want me to judge by stereotypes, but I invite those who invite me
They want me to kill and oppress others over religion; I say, “Only God knows where we’re headed.”
They want me to work until my head’s full of gray, but I love to smoke and hang with my homies
They want me to think my future’s in their hands, but I own my decisions
They want me to catch a man-made disease so they can only cure my symptoms; I say “I lived the good life”
They want me to contradict my dreams; I’ve never feared an opinion
They want me to serve at 18, hold up now; I can’t sip till I’m 21?
They want me to play their game, I never liked baseball
They want me to blame the brothers in the ‘hood, but haven’t ya’ll heard of dirty bacon?
They want me to fear the coward flaunting his pistol, I fear no one but God
They want me to vote for “our” nation’s leader, I never liked puppets
They want me to fear the reaper’s scythe, I know it can’t pierce my soul
They want me to think I’m at the end of the plank, but I’m not blind
And neither are you, so open your eyes my brothers and sisters.
Image credit: Anonymous9000/Flickr