Hundreds if not thousands of students are walking out in response to the illegal and xenophobic actions of our American government against their Latin American parents.
And there is an asshole on the radio right now talking about the violation of our sovereign nation by illegals walking down our American streets carrying their Mexican flag, and I’ll tell you something. I saw those ‘illegals’ yesterday, and they were hundreds of Chicano children, crossing the street in front of my car, showing their solidarity for their people, and standing up to a nation that’s willing to exploit their labor, but not support their education or healthcare. And I’ve also seen the pictures from Mexico, across the river from El Paso, of the bleached skulls of young girls littering the desert. Those girls have been tortured, and murdered, and no one knows who’s doing it, and is it any wonder that the murders started when the American factories moved to the area tax free to exploit the local workers, desperate to survive in an area where running water and electricity are luxuries? And It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that among those young women, probably lie the corpses of all the would-be union leaders that have gone missing over the years, because they would be costing the company precious dividends by trying to find justice and fair treatment for their people in their own country.
So, radio-asshole, you can go ahead and think that a crowd of children with pride in their parents and grandparents who have fled from a country you use as your own personal toilet and shooting gallery are threatening to you and yours, but the truth remains that these children are fighting for their survival, and you’re fighting to maintain a comfortable distance from the scapegoat you’ve blamed all your problems on thus far. Your ideal will fall, your way of life is ending. You will die in the next twenty years, and if the kids I saw yesterday continue to know they are strong, continue to know that they deserve the same rights and privileges of rich white children, you will be remembered with contempt and shame, and they will be held up like the heroes they are.
I’ve been waiting years for this, I’ve been pleading the people to fight back, and on the third day of student walkouts all across California, I can see a movement on the horizon. In my wildest dreams, this is the stirring of the great giant that’s been mollified and silenced for forty years too long. I fantasize that there is a nation of dis-empowered, angry people who are tired of being fed consumer goods at the price of their pride, at the price of their freedom. The people need jobs, the people need healthcare, not empty promises from over privileged exploiters.
And I don’t have promises, but for the first time in a long time, I have a hope for the future, and I have a renewed belief in my fellow man. We will endure. Generation after generation, we have not laid down after all, only waited and carried the memories of our forefathers before us, of their American hopes, and their Equality dreams that one day, they would be realized in us, in our children and grandchildren. Steadily we regain our humanity, steadily we find our voice, steadily we remember our pride, our strength.
We can do it, we will do it. Today I remembered the place we hold in this nation, and we are not the bottom, we are the backbone. We poor, we immigrants and children of immigrants are your nannies, your cleaners, and your food service employees. You cannot shop without us, you cannot drive without us. You will not survive without us. There are more of us- there are so many more of us. Unify! Mobilize! We cannot be ignored.