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Link: US Immigration Reform Protests (023/100)

First things first, there’s been a change in the blog name. I decided that “rusty” really wasn’t the right word. Many of the entries on these blogs are backed up from my LJ or they’ve been carefully thought out and edited several times before published. I’ve used the word “sanded” before and I just felt like in this case, that felt far more appropriate.

Originally posted at livejournal on 14 December 2014 @ 02:53 am

US Immigration Reform Protests (2006)

It’s been a somber night for me. My parents and I were watching the last hour of Teleton USA on Univision and all these stories they’ve shown have brought me close to tears.

I helped my parents donate online and after I did so my mom and I were alone and she made an off-handed comment about how Americans probably don’t even know this is going on.

“No saben mucho esta gente. Los medios no los enseñan.”

She told me how the other day while watching La Gordo y La Flaca, a chisme show that usually talks about Latin@ celebrities, Raul de Molina said he was with some of his American friends and he started talking to them about what’s occurring in Mexico. They had no idea of the state my country was in (because it’ll always be my country, more so than the US ever will be because it gave me a peace at sixteen I’ve yet to re-experience).

I wasn’t surprised, I told my mom how there’s so much that people don’t know in this country. I told her about the protests that turned violent in Venezuela, the awful, awful crime that’s occurred in Peru and how in Mexico the police themselves are inciting riots.

“Estamos mal,” she said after she saw the pictures and news articles.

I can’t unsee these pictures. There are the protests happening in all across the US, and we’re finally acknowledging the racism in this country. In Mexico my people are bloodied and beaten by the police meant to protect them. There have been interviews of those parents with their missing children and they look so broken, eyes screaming with loss. And it’s almost too much for me to look at. You’d think with my depression I’d be looking for a way to escape all this but I refuse.

(I asked my brother to buy me liquor because I’ve run out of meds today and I’m going to go into withdrawal in the next couple days because my insurance still isn’t sorted. And even though I didn’t press him too much I did mean it. I’m going to need something to deal with this. I told him and my mom as we were packing up our shopping cart to prepare themselves for my migraines and my body giving out on me)

This is too important. I need to remember all of this. My heart may hurt but turning a blind eye will do nothing for me. I will keep these images stored in my brain and I will pull them out to look at them often because it’s real. This is real and there’s so much work to be done.

There’s a very real rage in me right now. Especially at this country. At the awful, awful misery it’s caused not only to my country (the drugs they buy and the guns they’ve given the cartels) but to my family and myself. It’s stolen so much from me.

I made a comment about how I was never dressed up as a China poblana when I was younger and how unfair it was and my father told me that back when I was younger they wouldn’t have approved and I didn’t need to ask who he meant by “they” because “they” have been in my home my entire life and the fear and worry around them is everywhere (from the receipts we’ve kept in order to show my parents have been here for years to yells I’ve received for mentioning the immigration status of my brother and parents).

Today my aunt told us how my younger cousin with down’s syndrome was taken out of bilingual classes and placed in regular English classes. I felt a sort of unexpected sad pain because I know what’s going to happen now.

They’re going to take Spanish away from her, much like they’re taking it away from my cousins, like they’ve already taken it from my siblings and I (the Spaniards took Nahuatl away from my father and mother, years ago).

I’m angry and scared and worried all at once because there’s no stopping this. In order for my younger cousin to get “better” she needs to be moved to English classes. She’s going to lose her native tongue. Maybe she’ll be stubborn and hold onto Spanish longer but it’s hard to tell. She’s already only speaking in English a lot more and it should be a good thing but I can’t see it that way.

I know how this development goes. I was in bilingual class for a year. I spoke both my tongues and I loved it, loved being with a teacher who could understand me no matter what and could tell my mom how great I was doing in school. Then I changed schools and changed classes and my tongue was marked as “wrong.” I was sent to Speech classes like my brother, and later so was my sister. We had to learn to speak properly.

And I keep thinking of things. Like these protests that happened when I was in eight grade. I was fourteen and they told us to give them a day without any Latin@s. People said not to send the children to school and not to show up for work. My father still worked because there was no way we could afford not to. I tried to get out of going to school like my brother but there was no convincing my mother or my father:

“No tienes que hacer esto para nosotros. Tienes que ir a la escuela. Hay otros días.”

And I wanted to cry and say no, I didn’t want to go. Because this was so important to me. We needed to show this country (I needed to do something for my parents because what this country was doing to them was unfair). I had watched too much news of injustice for my people and I had endured so much racism from those who thought my race was the punchline in a joke.

I wore white in solidarity and I went to school only to find it practically empty. Two of my friends were there and classes were practically canceled. Our teacher knew what was happening because she was Cuban. She watched our news and she was informed and she didn’t say anything about the class’s absence. She just let us do what we wanted as long as we were quiet. We were graduating in two months after all.

I don’t understand how people can turn a blind eye to everything. I don’t know how they can’t know what’s going on around them. I can’t stand it. I want to scream and yell at them because I’ve been watching since I was five years old and saw my father throw a plate of eggs at my mother. I’ve been watching since ICE came on TV and called my family illegal. I’ve been watching since they made a game about my people crossing the border and dying in their attempts. I’ve been watching even when my wrists were bleeding.

And I’ll continue to do so even if my depression and anxiety make it harder for me.


About ilcocoabean

Mexican-American. Bisexual. Atheist. Feminist. NYC Math Teacher. A writer, a fangirl, and a little illogical.

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