A Note to the Person who Said It’s not a Big Deal to be Told to Go Back Where you Came From.

People like me are told those hateful words all the time. They are meant to make you feel less, and to get others to bully you. They are meant to make feel out of place, like your contribution doesn’t count, and like you will never be welcome in your own land.

It is a racist move precisely because of that intent. Yes, we all learn to live with it, to ignore it, and to continue being decent human beings.

Nonetheless, it hurts.

It hurts to see it being done to your children and the people you love. It’s easy for you to say “so what? Get over it. It’s not a big deal”

Ah! The callousness of the privileged! How well you mask your racism under a pretense of emotional equanimity! Those of us who have experienced over and over, however, can see the truth behind your pretend wisdom. You are not above the fray. You are the instigator.

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This Refugee’s Heart Forever Longs

I was a refugee once. I knew nothing of an “American dream,” nor did I seek economic prosperity or opportunities. Nothing about your dollar called me. I came here because the army in my country was getting paid one million dollars by your government to kill people like me.

There are so many of us who came here, not to find a better life, but simply to survive. A better life? For life, period.

The road is dangerous for most. We know it well. You risk aggressions, robbery, rape, and death. You give yourself to the fates, the blessing of the elements, and the hope for the kindness of the brotherhood of humans.

You are grateful when you arrive, but you know the ordeal has just begun.

I was lucky to have been able to prove I was persecuted back home, for being a student of Philosophy, for working for war refugees, for speaking up for justice and a better world. Those were my crimes. That made me dangerous. I considered myself fortunate. I arrived to the US unscathed, and I stayed without once being detained. I went to court, and I was able to prove my case. I was one of less than 2% of Salvadorans granted political asylum. The Reagan administration was adamant to not grant any more than that, lest the public knew what he was really doing to my people. I was lucky. There were so many more more deserving, more in need, and more invisible.

The love for your family forces you to suffer all indignities in a place where you don’t feel alive. Between a cold hell and the fear of death, you take one more step each day towards a future where perhaps your children will feel like they have a place to call home. 

For the love of them you leave the people you love and the land where your spirit thrives. For them you accept as normal a life of racism, police harassment, and the indignities of always being the lesser, the other, the silent forgotten. For the sake of your children you give up even the hope of truly belonging to the society you give your life and work to.

Your mind is forever now on the day to day issues of survival, raising children who forget your language and adopt the manners of the people who won’t ever see you as one of them. Your aspiration is to one day see your children happy. Your mind settles for the hope of one day being normal, but the heart forever longs for that place where you once felt a human being.

They and We: dedicated to the native resistance, and the people of Cuzcatlan

They took our lands.
We give our fruits.

They took our language.
We give our poems.

They denied our gods.
We give our prayers.

They changed our names.
We gather under The Tree.

They took our water.
We give our thirst.

They tortured us.
With our tears we clean the soul.

They massacred us.
Our blood feeds the future.

They buried us deep,
but we are seeds.

They erased our memories.
We remember the coming of the New Sun.

–Koyote the Blind

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Happy Transgender Day of Remembrance!

Today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. It is a day to remember those who were murdered for having the courage to be who they are.

Here is a token to all transgender people, my people, a haiku in memoriam of your beautiful lives where you have had the bravery to find yourselves and to seek to reflect the inner in the outer.

You join a long list of people killed for being themselves. Every cultural, political, gender, religious, sexual, racial, condition, and national label that has caused you to be discriminated, assaulted, or killed is one of the deepest shames of humanity.

To have the courage to continue to pave the way for a humanity that is just and enlightened is now our burden.

I am that I AM.
Beyond all labels and names,
I see me in you.

Koyote the Blind

For those afraid of immigrants and refugees: embrace your laws and your highest cultural light.

Someone asked me if I thought we should bend over and forget our laws and our culture and just allow the people marching from Central America to come in, and if I thought they came to assimilate and work, or to be supported by us. This person also said that we should not feel responsible for the mistakes they have made and they should leave us alone and fix things in their own land.

Here is my response:

In the first place, they would not need help if we left them alone to begin with. It is our intervention in their affairs that have created this situation. Historical ignorance is bliss to nationalists, they do not have to see what they do to other nations in the name of economic privilege.

Second, they are not breaking the law. They are following it. These people are marching to seek asylum, as our laws allow. They are not breaking the law, but following it. When they are here, they ask for asylum and we should, under our own laws, process them and reject those who are deemed dangerous or undeserving.

Third, yes, they will come here and assimilate into our laws. They will contribute and add the richness of their culture just like every other wave of immigrants have done since the beginning of this nation.

Lastly, I don’t know any Central American who wants to be supported. And I know thousands of them. It is part of their culture to be hard workers.

So, I suggest you follow your own laws, pay attention to your own cultural roots, and welcome those who seek a chance to contribute in this vast land of their ancestors (they are, for the most part, natives after all). Do not bend your laws or culture. Embrace and be true to them.

The online boldness of a drowning man

Ever since that #shitholetrump was given the White House, some of his followers believe their fascist and racist ideals now have a hero. I’m not talking about all conservatives. True conservatives have valuable ideas and contributions to the ongoing dialogue of humanity, and its search for destiny. No. I’m talking about those true fascist that dream with their past glories of white supremacy, segregation, and slavery.

These people have been silent until now. They can feel their resurgence. They see every step toward xenophobia, suppression, oppression, and cruelty their leader takes as the pavement of a road to their paradise. Emboldened, they are more vocal on social media, in government, on television, and the pulpits.

Because of my opposition to their mouthpiece, and my immigrant status, I get attacked a lot online. So far, they have threatened me with violence and deportation; called me animal, criminal, liar, terrorist, and subhuman (for being Salvadorian); and on, and on. This happens almost on a daily basis now.

Not one of them have said anything in person, but always hiding behind their screen names. Fascist cowards. They are showing themselves, in their impotent pseudo-bravado. They are the last kick of a drowning man.

This is the age of the sifting

The stupidity of this president is really bringing up the true absurdity of some people.

They are showing their contempt for human decency;
their disregard of love, compassion, and even the rule of law;
and they are presenting the true designs behind their claims of patriotism and conservatism.

We can clearly see that they are driven by heartlessness, fear, hatred, and cowardice.

No matter. We are the strong and the ones who will prevail.
The evolution of humanity is shedding some useless traits.
This is the age of the sifting.

(Note: this is not about true conservatives, or even about those who for one reason or another believe Trump is good. It is for those who are using the stupidity of Trump as a shield to empower their vicious cruelty).

Trump is slipping a Trojan Horse against the children

Trump is trying to slip a Trojan Horse. He’s making it seem like he’s swiftly solving the situation by keeping children and parents together. However, in exchange, he is turning what has always been a misdemeanor (I.e., crossing the border without documents) into a federal crime. As a result, he will be holding the entire family as criminal and they will be processed as criminals (maybe even the children). Asylum seekers can then be denounced because they will be charged with a crime before their claim’s merit is properly considered. Also, after convicted by a court, those children can be forcibly removed again.

Be careful. This is no victory yet. It is a trick.

Be watchful and keep up the pressure. They are feeling it. Keep it up.