TRABAJO DURO

[2020] What a time to be alive! We are residing within a divided country that once prided itself for being a safe domain for refugees, the “land of the free” for individuals seeking asylum from what our current President has described as “beautiful World Wars”.

Forward progressions that our great predecessors in government made were erased and compromised with the open flood gates of prejudice, slander, and erroneous statements. As a whole, our country has fallen back generations of growth. Equality is a fight that has never ended. It’s a fight that has been suppressed.

Suppression is second-nature in Latinx culture.

Nosotoros have been here the whole time! We’ve poured culture into American lifestyles for generations through great examples of art, food, music and structures, for less-than-legal pay, for less-than-ethical reasons, for absolutely zero recognition.

Photo cred: incarq

Latinx families have been founded and built on trabajo duro. Their hands were the only tools that were needed to get a job done. Their backs- the wheelbarrows and assembly lines. Their sweat- equity in the checks they took home to put food on the table para los ninos y ninas.

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Authority was earned with wisdom and respect. Elders were never questioned, they grounded our families on faith and loyalty. In a Latinx household, fear consisted of: being late for dinner, missing a day of work, “waiting until Dad got home” to whoop you, and disrespecting God. Adversity was never fear if that adversity didn’t immediately provide disappointment in the eyes of God or los padres. Technology, money, and politics were never topic of discussion for those who farmed their own land.

Photo cred: Emily Manning

When it comes to speaking up against oppression, there have not been many examples portrayed by the Latinx population. Traditionally, we’ve always been proven to outlast the beatings, inequality, and unfair treatment in society.

Instead of explicitly speaking out against the tyrants of today’s social climate, Latinx individuals have kept their heads down and relied on their resilience!

You don’t want to give equal payment? Latinx workers will double their hours to make ends meet! You don’t want to demonstrate patience when a Spanish-speaking individual attempts to speak English? Latinx patients will leave the Doctor’s office with worsening symptoms and back to his/her work schedule!

Born and bred to survive, the Latinx community carries a hereditary trait of silent resilience that is a paradox of pain.

Nosotros are not incompetent or blind to the fact our beautiful culture is mistreated. Latinx children, separated from their parents, have been forced to testify on their own behalf in immigration courts. The US Judicial System conducts the court room sin legal representation. After losing their case, los ninos are herded back to their cage like cattle. Deprived of basic HUMAN, not civilian, HUMAN rights like access to basic hygiene products (soap, toothbrushes, etc.) these children suffer, all the while being away from family and parents.

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At the very foundation of any political argument, basic human rights should not even be a debate. Empathy and understanding are two necessary perspectives that need to be taken to attempt to understand the inequalities within Latinx culture. Imagine, for just a second, your children, or YOU being 4 years old, having to defend yourself in a courtroom full of men/women in uniform that look like the people that took your family away.

If there is ever a time to stand up for ourselves, the time is now.

Our culture has influenced generations of people to be hard workers and to treasure the necessities of life. But, that does not mean we deserve to HAVE to work twice as hard as everyone else to achieve the necessities. Our backs will break before our will and that example of resilience is hard to come by in this day and age.

That same resilience is a trait that more of us need to have. The elected officials in charge of maintaining the quality of life for citizens in his/her jurisdiction need to dig deep and fight harder for us.

I encourage mis amigos of all cultures, ethnicities, heritages, and backgrounds to accept Latinx individuals that present themselves in your life. Try understanding the struggles he/she goes through. When you hear the word “illegal”, stop assuming that Latinx members are the only individuals seeking asylum or escaping to pursue their happiness. “Green cards” are not only assigned to Latinx individuals. Thank you to the brave leaders in the past, present, and in the future of the Black Lives Matter movement for reminding me that equality is necessary. Fair treatment is necessary.

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Let’s love one another past what the eye perceives. Let’s embrace our diversity, work together, and restore an America worth fighting for again.

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