Sunday, May 30, 2010

Arizona... estoy contigo

This morning I am struck by the latest post over at La Bloga.  It was Arizona's Day of Action yesterday.  People marched in the scorching heat to protest Senate Bill 1070 - a bill that invites harassment and mistreatment of Latinos.

A colleague of mine, for whom I have little patience, recently asked me what I thought about the latest in Arizona.  I can't have this kind of conversation with this person; there's too much ignorance there.  How do you explain that people often come here out of desperation? Out of need? And what about dreams and visions?  Are brown people not allowed to hope for something better for themselves and their children?

My colleague, for the hundredth time, says "they" take some of our jobs. I ask, "Are you willing to pick fruit in the hot sun all day long? Would you stand in an assembly line fastening plastic bits to metal parts? Would you mind bussing tables and washing strangers' dishes? Would you scrub toilets? Can you imagine taking on two or three of these jobs just so you can get by?

And now I ask you - mi colega
would you deny food to Maria who stands in
the lunch line, anticipating the
warmth in her belly that will come from a sandwich
and a carton of milk?
Do you want to send Alex away, whose dad has just
moved his family of five
to a third floor apartment
in a run down house,
no air-conditioning?
And what about Wanda,
who excels in class, writing colorful poems and
hopeful stories - the top student -
would you send her back to a place
where school is unstable?
Would you take from these children
because, as an American
it's your duty to stand for "what's right"?


TeachEnEspanol said...

I have had this conversation with so many so often. When it comes down to it, legal or not, parents have a responsibility to their children. And if I thought that I could make a better life for mine, I would do it...and if certain people had any idea what it was like to struggle in that way, they would too.

Cassy said...

Thanks for commenting Teach! I'm glad you hear what I'm saying...

John Spencer said...

I lost blog followers and Twitter followers for speaking out against the bill. My family wasn't able to go to the protest on Saturday, but we've been to two others. The "illegal aliens" (though we are actually the ones who stole the land and we are, according to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, actually the ones who are currently violating the law) and "criminals" (though it is a civil and not a criminal violation and thus not a "crime" per se) are my students, my friends, my neighbors.

Marcela said...

I feel this, and feel the same way, what's happening is wrong.

I admire you for speaking out.

Vivi said...

Amen! I was at the march and will be at any other events that come up. Thank you for such a beautiful post.