I’m sad today. I’ve had quite a few of those lately. I don’t attribute these sad days to anything in my personal life, but to issues and events that do affect me personally.
Last night, a grand jury found that there was insufficient evidence to indict Officer Darren Wilson with the murder, in any form or malice, of Michael Brown. As I sat watching the news unfold on a 24-hour news network, I had to turn away before the fires started.
Fires that consumed the hearts and minds of every protester – peaceful or violent – and left each one with scars of despair and hatred.
Fires that sparked new revelations of injustice and how blacks are disproportionately arrested more often than any other race.
Fires that charred businesses and cars minutes after the news was released.
Fires that have set a community on fire.
Fires that have set a nation on fire.
Fires that have set me on fire.
When the news first broke of a young black male being shot by a police officer (I wasn’t aware it was a white officer), my heart ached for his family. My heart also ached for the officer. A family will never know what their son will look like past 18 years old. A man will live with the fact that he took the life of another human being. Once the news started to come out and evidence was finally revealed last night, I was able to come to my own conclusion as an American citizen. I will keep that opinion to myself. I will share some other feelings that rushed over me last night and left me with tears on my cheeks this morning.
I was disheartened last night. My country is torn because of race. Here we are in 2014 and still making everything a race issue.
Believe me, I know race exists. I know what it’s like to be judged by my last name. My skin (when it’s the summer and I’m a bit tanner). My words when I speak in Spanish. I know what it’s like to be told I don’t belong in America. I know. What I don’t know is why we still look at one another as black, white, Hispanic, Asian. In my humble opinion, that is WHAT we are not WHO we are. I am not simply a Mexican-American. I am a human being who loves God, loves others and enjoys sweet tea. The Mexican part of me is simply a part of me that has instilled certain values and given me a different worldview. At the end of the day, I am a human being and I want to be judged by my character. Remember these following words?
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” MLK, Jr.
That is what I want and that is what I strive to live by every single day. I’m not perfect, but I try to truly follow those words.
Once I dealt with that feeling, I became enraged. How dare these individuals destroy a city? How dare these individuals ruin city, state and national property? How dare these individuals ruin the belongings of innocent citizens? How dare they show this much hatred for one life that was lost and could have been prevented? How dare they not care about every other human being in the world the way they mourned for Michael Brown?
I want to see this same rage when our children are beaten and abused by their own family members.
Every year more than 3 million reports of child abuse are made in the United States involving more than 6 million children (a report can include multiple children).
I want to see this same rage when elderly citizens die because they can’t afford to heat their homes.
Winter kills more than summer heat waves.
I want to see this same rage when women are sold into prostitution.
In 2013, the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline, operated by Polaris, received reports of 3,609 sex trafficking cases inside the United States.
I want to see this same rage when men are assaulted by women and never get their own justice.
In a survey taken by the CDC in 2010, it was found that 40% of the victims of severe, physical domestic violence are men.
I want to see this same rage when every human life is deemed “worthy” by every other human being watching any act of injustice.