( – promoted by buhdydharma )
So we lost, didn’t we.
Sure, there’s no HCR bill signed yet, but we know the game has been fixed and we’ve been sucker punched.
Bad enough to get screwed by the Republicans for so many years. It’s irritating, very irritating to get screwed by who we thought were our fellow Democrats.
So this is being a US citizen in the year Twenty-Ten.
Even trying to be informed seems an impossible task, much less changing everything.
And to make it even more surreal, the very institutions, the members of which are riding a high tide of obscene wealth and power, are also crumbling as I type this.
So I look at these kids, these four kids who have wallked what they call the “Trail of Dreams.”
These are four undocumented kids who are demonstrating how they are coming out of the shadows (you know, those shadows that 12 million of our brothers and sisters live in, over 2 million of them children).
These are their names and a little P.R. information about them for the Trail of Dreams website. First a joint statement by the four:
We are four students from Florida – Felipe Matos, Gaby Pacheco, Carlos Roa, and Juan Rodriguez – who were brought to the United States by our families when we were young. This is the only country we have known as home. We have the same hopes and dreams as other young people, and have worked hard to excel in school and contribute to our communities. But because of our immigration status, we’ve spent our childhoods in fear and hiding, unable to achieve our full potential. We walk in order to share our stories and to call on our leaders to fix the system that forces people like us into the shadows, stripping us of the opportunity to participate meaningfully in society.
And here’s some blurbs about them individually::
Felipe Matos, 23
Felipe is ranked one of the top 20 community college students in the United States. In addition to his educational excellence, Felipe also found time to serve his peers as student government president of Miami Dade College. Born to a single mother in the slums of Brazil, Felipe was sent at age 14 to the United States, where he first dreamed of becoming a teacher. But though he has the intelligence and drive, his immigration status has prevented him from achieving this dream. Felipe has been accepted by Duke University and other top colleges, but he is barred from getting financial aid. He is currently studying economics in community college, but still hopes that one day he will be able to teach young people, because he believes education is the key to pulling people out of poverty.
Gaby Pacheco, 25
Gaby was declared a “gifted student” at a very young age and has since excelled at all levels of school. In the process of securing three education degrees at Miami Dade College, she has realized what she wants to do with her many talents and education: use music therapy as a communication tool to teach autistic children and adults. Gaby’s parents brought her to the U.S. from Ecuador in 1993, when she was 7 years old. In 2006, federal immigration agents raided her home, and Gaby’s family has been fighting deportation ever since. She has an AA in Music Ed. AS in Early Childhood education, and a BA in Special Education K-12.
Carlos Roa, 22
Carlos was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country: joining the military in a time of war. But like many other undocumented students, Carlos could not realize this or any other dream – a college education, a job as an architect – because of his immigration status. Carlos was brought to the United States by his family when he was only 2 years old. High school was difficult for him and, after his mother died from a 10-year battle with cancer, he began searching for community. He wrote an impassioned letter about how lost he felt, posted it on websites, and shared it with everyone in his network. In that process he found his fellow walkers, who helped him get into Miami Dade College where he is studying architecture. While happy to be in school, Carlos still worries that as an undocumented student he won’t be able to put his education to use in a good job.
Juan Rodriguez, 20
Like many young people in Florida, the home of NASA, Juan grew up dreaming of becoming an aerospace engineer. His family brought him to the U.S. on a tourist visa from Colombia when he was 6 in response to threats to their safety in their homeland. Juan was a top student in school, but got discouraged when he realized that no matter how good his grades were or how many hours of community service he did, he could never realize his dream. Last year, Juan’s step-mother helped him to finally become a U.S. resident. As the only walker that has legal residence and as a formerly undocumented student, he feels a special responsibility to help people understand both the challenges and the opportunities facing students like him. His new dream is to earn a degree in sociology from the University of Chicago so he can go to work improving communities and helping people directly.
These four 20-somethings represent millions of people, not just immigrants and their families, some documented, some not, but also organizers from around the country and the world and anyone who feels solidarity in their hearts and minds with basic human rights and human dignity over tyranny and injustice. It’s a tent so big it makes the Democratic Party tent seem like a broom closet.
These are the people who, although completely disenfranchised from equal rights in the USA’s society and culture, are the true source of hope in our world.
They have hope when right now I think hope is a big laugh.
There are so many of them!
If I look at them instead of at our corporation-owned politicians and their willing insiders, operatives and ignoramuses, the view is … very different.
Their travels will culminate in the big D.C. rally on March 21 (there’s a badge up on the upper righthand corner if you want further info). You can check out their interactive map and blog here .
Their walk takes them from Florida through Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and then to D.C.
They’ve already met President Obama, who was very encouraging to them.
So they have hope.
What they’re asking for is pitifully inadequate and humbling to contemplate. They’re willing to undergo stringent requirements most of us would shun, just to become citizens, to come out of the shadows.
And yet when I look at them rather than at our crumbling institutions and the liars who try to hide that reality, I feel just fine. They are, I guess, the healing antidote to the lame astroturf Sunsteinian confederacy of ignorance called the “coffee-party”. LOL.
This is an essay which comes to no conclusion … because the story is still untold.