my freshman year of college, I was with my mother and sister, waiting at an
intersection to turn left. There was a great deal of traffic and as we
waited we were approached by a mob of protesters. They were marching from the
Capitol building to the City/County building and overwhelming the street that
we happened to be on.
We were stuck and surround my hundreds of white supremacists’, who began pounding on the car and screaming vulgarities. I vividly remember as faces peered into the car, the anger in their eyes and the expressions of hatred. A police officer came and protected us as the demonstration proceeded.
This was the first time in my life that I had experienced such anger and discrimination over the color (although slight) of my skin and the blackness of my hair. I had experienced discrimination in my life, although it was always more subtle and filled more with ignorant disdain rather than hatred and malice.
Once again, I find myself in the middle of discrimination. Conversations stop when people learn I am part Mexican. I can see the next question in their eyes, "Are you legal?" Yes... my family immigrated here legally (both from Mexico and from England), but there is now doubt and mistrust.
As I have reflected these past few days over the liberties and freedoms that I enjoy today I have found that I take them for granted. When my daughters want to carry around their identification in protest, I am thankful that they can voice their opinions. That they can be educated. I look at my boys and marvel at the opportunities they will enjoy as they learn and grow into men.
These liberties that we take for granted were paid for by the lives and deaths of others, I feel such gratitude and humility in my heart. Others, like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., gave so much; many still give and fight for the human liberties I so easily enjoy.
What a beautiful sacrifice, one that I can only begin to understand and imagine and what a great responsibility each of us has to show kindness, tolerance and love to one another!
“Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step” -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.