AN EXCERPT FROM A STORY I’M WORKING ON
She cried because America let her people down. She had never been so angry with a white man. She had heard stories of her family, namely her grandparents, facing discrimination and oppression at the time they immigrated to America, but she had never realized how severe racism in this country was. Now, for the first time, she was witnessing it for herself. The media was in crisis mode. She immediately saw the distress on the newscasters’ faces past their calm façade, especially in those of color. There was an ache, a worry, a pain which she was so familiar with all her life. It was worn like plaster on her father’s face, her mother’s face, her grandparent’s faces, her uncles’ faces; it was the face of questioning. Will we make it to the end of the month? Will we make it to the border? What can we go without? There was urgency born within her.
Her mind bled with all sorts of questions. “How could America let this happen,” she thought, “I thought we were better than this! We are better, so much better.” Rage and anxiety consumed her fellow Americans, and protests broke out. People from all walks of life, but mostly young and of color, went out on the 101 Freeway in her hometown of Los Angeles and marched. She watched, stuck to her computer screen. She stopped breathing as policemen in riot gear and raised guns filled with rubber bullets at the crowd. They backed away, with their hands up. It was a situation all too familiar with her; her mind went back to Ferguson. That young black man is now at rest.
The media blitz continued. She, once bright with hope for her America, her America with bright hair and young eyes, turned morbid with tears streaming down her cheeks. America turned into a medusa and cast people into stone for no clear reason. Perhaps this America hated everybody. She wanted to set her hair on fire before the white men did it for her. She was worried that they would tell her to go home when this was her home. What other home was there for her, she wondered. Raised Catholic, she was always told that Heaven was truly her home; God wanted all His children to be there with Him, and upon her arrival, there would be a big party for her. All the angels and saints would be in attendance, Christ and the Lady of Heaven herself too. She looked at the television screen and the meditated on that thought. “How nice would it be to not worry about getting harassed or even killed if I go out?”
(C) CATHERINE AMEZQUITA ALL RIGHTS RESERVED