I am one voice. I do not represent any race, color, or creed. I am a human being standing on what is currently designated as American soil – so for the sake of argument, call me an American. If it bares any relevance, I am an American of Hispanic origin, a heterosexual, and a Christian.
Like so many others who reside here, my heritage is rooted in immigration. Forced or not is irrelevant, I am here now. Some may say that this apathetic approach to my personal history undermines the strife and therefore overall pride of my ancestors, but I must respond “why keep the wound open?”
Generations have passed since my long dead relative arrived here. In that time I have benefited from the American Dream by receiving an education, being gainfully employed, and starting a family. I have been responsible with the legacy my progenitor left behind. The same cannot be said for a vast majority of 21st century Americans.
While I sympathize with the outrage caused by police brutality and racism, I believe that it is the necessity perpetuated by the masses to be recognized as an individual that has created this overall feeling of entitlement and ultimately, mass division. I am saddened that Americans are more concerned with being recognized for their color, gender, and sexual orientation rather than identifying as American.
I am angered that instead of learning from history, they are trying to rewrite it by removing any evidence of its existence all in the name of social justice or insisting that apologies be constantly issued. This is what keeping the wound open does. It allows festering causing these senseless acts of violence across the board and to what end? Destroy something, it will be rebuilt. Kill someone, punishment will be issued. Steal something, another will be manufactured and sold in its place. Nothing will change.
My message to any American listening is to remember a sobering fact…the ground beneath your feet is your home. Your home protects your right to disagree with it. It will send protectors to ensure that you are safe while you verbally trample on it. America will defend your right to call yourself an American. There are peoples across the globe who cannot say the same about where they live.
J. Rodriguez, Harlingen