something else or things will get worse. I feel it. But maybe that’s vain of me. I’m not sure. I try to do my part, teaching writing workshops and organizing readings for young POC with WOC, listening to voices more oppressed than mine (and there are many). It feels overwhelming. It never feels like enough. My nephew attends a high school that was named after Confederate general Robert E. Lee (until very recently) that still leaves out Latinx and Black stories even though the demographics of said school are overwhelmingly not white; my nephew will be tested on white history and if he fails, he will be held back and forced to spend more years of his life to make sure he learns it which can cost him scholarships and jobs and even more years of his life unlearning all that bullshit. When I went to grade school, our stories weren’t being told; as of this writing, there were textbooks being introduced to the Texas school board that taught Latinx struggle as inherently anti-American. It took some of the greatest Latinx/Chicanx scholars and minds to refute garbage and drivel, perhaps a metonym on the greater conversation of race in America. We have a president who inspires anger in our young people as they live under constant attack from their own government, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Though I see hope in our youth, I sometimes wonder how much it will be tested. How many of them will inevitably lose hope, because that’s just how tiring la lucha is. I think about my beautiful nephew, who is brown, black, and Native American, and how much this administration will use that against him, now more than ever. Can I say things have gotten better since I was in public school? I went to graduate school for an MFA and found many of the same issues, just in a more conceptual, policy driven form that’s subtle yet stinging. I went to an undergraduate program that only taught white, Eurocentric readings and philosophers. As a writer, I submit to contests and journals and see white people accepted in droves with sprinkles of people like me. I don’t know. You tell me. I feel like I’ve been wandering ever since.
Blue Mesa Review | 24
Published on Dec 5, 2017