My hands are wet with blood. They are crimsoned with the blood of a man I have just killed.
I have come here today to confess. I have committed murder, deliberate, premeditated murder. I have killed a man in cold blood. That man is my master.
I am here not to ask for pity but for justice. Simple, elementary justice. I am a tenant… My father was a tenant before me and so was his father before him. This misery is my inheritance and perhaps this will be my legacy to my children.
I have labored on a patch of land not mine. But I have learned to love that land, for it is the only thing that lies between me and complete destitution.
It is the only world that I have learned to cherish. And somewhere on that land I have managed to build what is now the dilapidated nipa shack that has been home to me.
I have but a few world possessions, mostly rags. My debts are heavy. They are sum total of my ignorance and the inspired arithmetic of my master, which I do not understand.
I labor like a slave and out of the fruits of that labor I get but a mere pittance for a share. And I have to stretch that mere pittance to keep myself and my family alive.
My poverty has reduced me to the bare necessities of life. And the constant fear of rejection from the land has made me totally subservient to my master. You tell me that under the constitution, I am a free man-free to do what I believe is just, free to do what I think is right, and free to worship God according to the dictate of my conscience. But I do not understand the meaning of all these for I have never known freedom. I have always obeyed the wishes of my master out of fear. I have always regarded myself as no better than a slave to the man who owns the land on which I live. I do not ask you to forgive me nor to mitigate my crime. I have taken the law into my own hands, and I must pay for it in atonement.
But kill this system. Kill this system and you kill despotism. Kill this system and you kill... [continues]
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