I'm going to do it. I'm going to a march on Friday to support my community members, to stand up for what I believe in, and to be part of the new Civil Rights Movement.
I have been waiting for this since I was a kid, and it's finally here. All the nights I couldn't put down literature and biographies about César Chávez, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Junior, when I ate dinner with Dolores Huerta at my table, when I shouted ¡Sí Se Puede! with the rest of the Mechistas at Portland State...the culmination is here. When I got into screaming matches with my redneck stepdad about the humanity of immigrants, about the desperation that drives people to risk their lives so their children can be born into opportunity...it's no longer a private issue.
I have never stopped loving La Lucha, but I definitely have put it to the side since I came into the corporate world. I am involved with Latino groups at work, but I haven't exactly run into any future revolutionaries in the break room.
I owe them. I owe my great-grandparents. I owe my grandparents. I owe myself to do something worthwhile, to stop talking and start doing. All the nights listening to Kid Frost, Latin Alliance, Another Latin Timebomb, the poder I felt knowing they were Brown and Proud...I have to do this for them. To become who I always wanted to be as a kid...to start the movement, to speed up the motion, to set some fires, and channel my energy to those who need it.
At one time it was illegal for slaves to run away from their master's plantation. At one time it was illegal to be Black and out after 8 pm. At one time it was illegal to marry someone of a different race. At one time it was illegal to hold on to your Indian heritage. At one time it was illegal to drink from certain water fountains, live in certain neighborhoods, and go to certain schools. Question illegality. Question inhumanity. Question racism. Question motive. Got an answer? Keep questioning.
Qué viva la raza humana. Qué viva el espíritu de los oprimidos. Qué siga la lucha. Qué despierte mi gente.