Women's March

As many of you know, this past weekend marked a year since women, and supportive men, all around the country, took to the streets to protest against Trump and to protest for feminism. As much as this whole movement inspires me, I’m having such a hard time sitting down to write about it. I don’t know if it’s stemmed from some sort of subconscious guilt from feeling like I haven’t done enough to help with this cause, but I do know I won’t let that stop me from spreading the word on this positive movement, because letting the guilt of not having done enough in the past stop you from doing something now, is the shittiest excuse out there. It’s never too late to jump on the band wagon thats riding in the right direction. I left work this Sunday a bit past 10 in the morning after working an overnight shift. I went home, showered, made myself my special vegan banana smoothie that I love, grabbed by camera and my mom and headed to MANA Wynwood, where people in Miami were gathering for the Women’s March. After some time of struggling to find parking, my mom was getting discouraged to continue searching. As we kept getting further away from the event while looking for a spot, she was on the verge of saying she didn’t want to go anymore. I decided to do one last lap around really close to the entrance of where the crowd was gathered, and of course, that last bit of effort right before giving up was all it took to get lucky. We didn’t even have to pay, whether it was legal or not, thats beside the point :P We started making our way in towards the crowd, and before we were even in it, I realized I had a huge knot in my throat, tears in my eyes, and goosebumps all over my body. The energy was overwhelming. The passion and devotion of the people present was invigorating. I looked over to my mom who was initially only tagging along to accompany me, and I saw in her eyes the same emotions that had taken over me. With her voice breaking she said, “oh my god… this is incredible. I’m so glad we came.” I knew we couldn’t stay long, so I made my way through the crowed, reading people’s signs, making eye contact with those devoting their time and effort into making a difference, smiling at those who are as hopeful as me for our future as a country and as a society, and photographing the people who are helping shape our world. I saw little girls with their fathers, teenagers with their friends, grandparents with their grand children, families with their babies, elderly couples, younger couples, black, white and brown, all gathering for love. For justice. For equality. For peace. I heard courageous people share their poems, their pain, their struggles and their optimism. And while some may be asking what good does this really do, it proves that there are people out there with their hearts in the right place and their minds set on making a positive change. People who won’t allow a hateful man dim their light. People who really believe love trumps hate, and won’t give up until it happens. People who really believe they can change the world, because they know,  those are the ones who actually do. If you feel you haven’t done enough to contribute to this movement, let this be your sign to start, from wherever you are, with whatever ideas you have, let this be it. We often think with small minds, believing we’re just one person and what good can one person do, but you’re not just one. There’s a whole bunch of us out there and any time any positive change has come, it’s been from a group of people who believed in their power and in the power of positivity. You can start by registering to vote, and from there, whenever you don’t know what to do, GOOGLE! Cause letting not knowing what to do stop you from doing something, is also a pretty shitty excuse ;)

_32A1140.jpg
D32A1128.JPG

DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. DAY

 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on June 19th 1964. Photographer : unknown. Source : Google.com

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on June 19th 1964. Photographer : unknown. Source : Google.com

I sit to write today, my first blog entry, after saying to myself for years that this day would come, thinking it would sooner than it did, but there’s no use in focusing my energy on that. Instead, I allow myself to feel proud that the moment finally came when I decided to value myself, my thoughts and my voice enough to jot them down and share them with those they might reach. It’s Martin Luther King Jr Day in the United States, and the legacy he left has been present in my mind all day. 50 years after his death, we continue needing to be reminded of his teachings. We continue needing someone like him to lead us in the right direction. We continue needing to fight with love for equality, justice and peace. But most of all, we continue needing to be reminded that we still need all of this, especially those of us who aren't directly affected by the injustices he fought. Many of us have settled with the status quo of racism, simply because we no longer see blatant signs of segregation in front of water fountains, or in classrooms, or on city buses. Many of us have been blinded by the physical integrations of races we see all around us. But what about social integrations on a broader spectrum dictated by the almost invisible seeds of segregation? Why is it that today, in 2018, we still continue to see rally’s and protests and signs reminding us that black lives matter? How integrated are we really if black lives still feel the pain that drives them to remind us? As a hispanic woman raised in Miami, I can’t say I’ve lived the pain of oppression myself. I’ve lived the discomfort of being too hispanic for some of my friends and too white for my other friends, but never pain. And yet that’s never stopped me from feeling empathy for the others who are just like me except for the superficial detail of the tone of their skin. So I ask myself, how is it that so many of us are so blind to it? Why is it that we continue putting those a few skin tones darker than us in a position where they need to fight for equality and for justice, simply because of their skin color? Can it be that we really live in a world where cars can almost drive themselves but we can’t even drive ourselves to compassion? These are just thoughts typed out on a laptop, but they come from feelings that are deep rooted, and while I don’t know what good they will do, I put my faith in knowing that spreading positivity and messages of love will add on to the goodness in the world in hopes to outnumber the bad. 

 

I wanted to elaborate further on this topic, but I know the internet is overflowing with content and many of us can't focus on one thing for too long, but in case I've captured your attention, feel free to read on. 

 

How often does the oppressor say, “African Americans have the same rights we do, so whatever circumstance they find themselves in is only their fault,” or something along those lines expressing this belief? Now just for a moment, stop to think. How long do you think the effects of slavery last or impact a race or society? Sure, it’s very unlikely that anyone in the United States today can actually say they were a slave, but what about when we ask if their grandmother, or great grandmother was? When I think of the person I am today, and all the values I carry deep in my heart and present in my mind, I trace them back to my family. Who I am is mostly because of the way I was raised by the people that raised me. And what do you think influenced the people that raised me and how they are as people most? The people that raised them. So now imagine being raised by a mother whose grandmother was a slave, or whose grandmother's parents were slaves, and lived that horrific tragedy that brought on insurmountable amounts of pain. Imagine growing up with the anger, the grudges, the pain, passed down from generation to generation. Now that's only trying to understand the oppressed on an emotional level. So let's think a bit further. How much easier is it for kids who grow up in a wealthy home to get ahead than kids that grow up poor? I know what you’re thinking, as I did when I wrote that, it’s not an excuse and it’s certainly not impossible to get ahead no matter where you come from. AGREED. But what about an entire race? What if the reason why we're starting from the zero line and moving up while a grand majority of African Americans are starting from below the zero line is because of disadvantages set by a racist and unjust society? What about an entire race that doesn’t see themselves represented in a highly respected or successful light? How many black doctors have you seen in movies or in TV’s in comparison to doctors of other races? Lawyers? Educators? CEO’s and businessmen? What if your whole life all you saw in the media around you about your race was the same you saw in your low income neighborhood? What if you grew up your whole life profiled as someone who won’t amount to much? Or as someone who people expect the lowest from? How can we expect a whole race of people to escape this prison when we continue to keep them behind these societal bars. Now tell me racism doesn’t exist. Tell me African Americans as a whole have the same opportunities when a large portion of them live in low income neighborhoods with a lower education. Tell me black little boys and black little girls have equal opportunities when statistics show many of them are raised by single mothers earning minimum wage. Black lives matter, and they don’t deserve the disadvantages they deal with which are stemmed from our racist history. 

 

Disclaimer, this is not a newspaper article or history book excerpt, so if I don't sound politically correct, please excuse me as my intent is only to shed light on a dark problem and promote awareness and love. 

I'm sure I will always think of things to add or adjust to better explain myself, so if I waited to publish this until the moment I thought it was perfect, it would never happen, so here it is.