What About Me?

First, let me preface this by saying that I am a Black, Latino, son of Cuban refugee parents who proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. I recently sent out a mass text and people lost their minds. In light of all that is going on these days, I felt it prudent to remind people of all of the injustices going on within the walls of our own country. So my text was basically about the lack of caring shown to our nation’s Veterans in comparison to the empathy shown to refugees from different countries.

I’ve always wondered why people look outside and worry about all that is going on around the world when we have virtual shit storms right in our own backyard. This whole immigration reform has brought me to the realization that the left, right, and middle are all full of shit. Last time I checked Chicago was still a war zone and there were still millions of people living below the poverty line in the United States. Every time the Black Lives Matter movement complains about police brutality, the right wing confuses the issue by saying ALL lives matter. Well of course all fucking lives matter. But my white friends and relatives have all of the advantages in the world and sometimes take them for granted. I have been pulled over several times in my neighborhood (my own fucking neighborhood!!) for no other reason than being black. Anytime I see a police car get behind me, I instinctively tighten up. Not because I’m doing anything wrong but because I don’t want to get pulled over for being black. An experience that has happened to me many times over and is NOT enjoyable. When I think of places to visit on vacation I have to think very carefully because picking the wrong place might get me killed. Even in the United States. So, what about me? Where’s the outrage for me? Where is the outpouring of support and the marches for me? Who marched when nine innocent black people were killed by a white man while they were in Church praying to their God? Who marches for all of the men and women that go to war for this country and come back maimed — both physically and mentally? Who marches for all the starving and abused children in our country? Who marches for all of the senior citizens in our country that eat fucking dog food because social security barely covers their rent?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not a militant black man. My family and friends are a rainbow coalition and there are good and bad people of every race. And of course I identify with refugees. My parents were fucking refugees. Do I agree with the ban on Muslims (call it what you want, that’s what it is)? Fuck no! Particularly since the ban is missing key countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt which Trump has business links to but that’s a whole other story. But do I think we need better and more comprehensive immigration laws? Yes!! Do I think our nation’s veterans deserve some of the compassion, funding, and programs available to immigrants and refugees? Yes!! Do I think people of color have the right to be pulled over by a police officer without being shot to death? Yes!! Do I think everyone is entitled to affordable health care? Yes!! Do I think every child has the right to three square meals a day with maybe some snacks thrown in? Yes!!

So why aren’t we marching against all of the above social injustices? Why did we come out in droves in the defense of people who are not from here but we ignore the suffering of our own people? I think the answer lies within the man that is currently serving as President of the United States. I think the outpouring of rage has more to do with him and what people think he stands for than on this current immigration ban. And, trust me, I get it. There is no one that can tell me about racism, about being an immigrant, or about being a Veteran. I have experienced it all. And while I admire the fervor with which my white relatives and friends are opposing this ban, I wish they would stop assuming that every single person that voted for Trump is a racist. Because the truth is, they’re not. Some of them are misinformed, or ignorant, or just plain scared. Some of them just truly believe that he will make America great again. But not everyone that supports Trump is a fucking racist. And you cannot tell me, a Black Latino man, how I “should” feel or what I “should” support. Because in your life of privilege (something I never had), you never really realized how good you have it. Because you telling me that as a black man I should vote or feel a certain way is racist. Because until your beautiful eleven year old daughter comes home crying after two boys at school called her a nigger you can’t understand what I’ve been through or what I continue to go through on a daily basis. Because you haven’t earned the right to judge me or my beliefs.

So my suggestion to all of us is to keep our minds open and to stop judging each other based on what we look like or what God we pray to. Let’s stop hurling insults at each other and making assumptions. Let’s figure out how we can ALL benefit in this great country. Let’s take a stand for everyone that is oppressed not just the cause of the moment. Be nice to each other and realize how good some of you mother fuckers have it.


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