Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Can't even walk down the street safely anymore

I've read the stories about hate crimes committed against undocumented residents. The anger is sometimes so overwhelming that I can taste it in my mouth. The vile, rancid taste of hate because you know the people attacked didn't deserve to be victims of ignorance. Those feelings are magnified when you see it happen right on front of your eyes. When you see the act itself being committed and not doing anything about it. The other day I was at a lunch truck eating with my friends around 1:30 a.m. 

As we sat and huddled for warmth after eating, I noticed from the corner of my eye commotion in the street. I see a car with two people in the front and and two other men getting out to assault a man who was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. The men immediately begin to man handle him after taking him by surprise. As one holds his hands behind his back, the other searches him for valuable possessions to steal. My friends begin to notice what's going on and I tell them, "the guy is getting robbed." "We should go help him," said one friend. "Yeah we gotta do something," said my other friend. 

Both of them are women and they wanted to go help while me and my other friend just sat there and kept an eye out to make sure things didn't take a turn for the worse. Before we could decide what to do the guys go back in the car and drive away. Immediately the girls go and ask the man if he was OK ? We follow and begin to talk to the man and ask him what they stole from him, his wallet with his I.D. from work and the Mexican Consulate. One of my other friends flags down a sheriffs officer and the officer tries to give chase to the car, but with no luck. 

He comes back and begins to take a report of what happened, asking us to describe what we saw, the make of the vehicle, what the attackers looked liked etc. The men were Mexican, just like the person they robbed. Part of me hates that very concept. It's hard enough in the world as it is and the people who are suppose to be looking out for us are the ones stabbing us in the back. The lack community unity hurts everyone because divided we fall, but united we stand. I myself grew up with that kind of ignorance around my community for far too long and while I decided to devote my life to stop crimes like the one I saw, at times it feels like I'm chipping away at a glacier with an ice pick. 

Having been a victim of robbery, I knew that I couldn't involve myself in what was going. What if they had guns ? knifes ? what if they decided to go after my friends ? The safety of my friends and the victim are too high for something as petty as money or a wallet. I would much rather give them what they want than to risk becoming another two minute news story on the evening news. 

"A young man was killed late in the evening last night as he tried to fight off his attacker. El Random Hero was 2? years old and was attending ???? college as a journalism major. Police say that during their struggle, the attacker, who was identified as ????, was carrying a hand gun and shot Hero in the chest repeatedly leaving him for dead. No word yet on the location of his attacker."

2 comments:

Dave said...

Gawd, how awful. I'm sorry to hear about it. I'm not sure what I would've done, either, if I was faced with that. I'd like to think I'd jump in to defend the guy, but the reality is that fear for my own safety might keep me from doing so.

I hope the new year brings you peace!

Tee said...

Just wanted to let you know that I've enjoyed reading your blog. I hope that others in your situation are comforted by it.

As for the hate crimes lately - it makes me sick with sadness.

I hope 2009 will bring good things.