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Posts tagged Unafraid.

My family never meant to get stuck in this terrible limbo. But, guess what happens when you mix 1 broken immigration system + 1 pompous piece of shit lawyer? The result is a family that is suddenly out of status. Jumping through all the hoops was not enough … one mistake was all it took to turn our world upside down.

We were stripped of not only our identity, but also of our humanity. I stepped into high school every day, thinking only of the day that was ahead of me, but never about the future. It was too painful to think about the future, or what it had in store for me. All I knew is that my future would not hold for me, the same thing it held for my friends. I did all they did, I took the same classes, the same tests, most of the time, I often scored better than my friends, but even then I knew that made no difference. I did not feel equal to them.  I need something to motivate me.  I needed something to keep me pushing for a better future, even when the outlook was bleak. I needed a reason to stay up and finish that damn report. I needed a reason to not get into drugs, even thought my parents probably would have hardly noticed, since they worked all of the time.  I needed a reason to have hope.

It’s funny how something so small can inspire you, if you let it. In one of the few days when my parents were not working, they took me to the High museum. It was so wonderful to be in such a beautiful place, away from the institutionalized walls of my school, away from the judgment.

At that exhibition I felt like the whole world was listening and breathing through me.

 I think the first time I read it, it was splattered huge across a wall high in the exhibition. It was a vinyl cut out of letters, stuck to the wall itself. “I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of stars makes me dream.” Maybe it’s silly, but it was exactly what I needed. From that moment forward, I clenched onto that phrase and never let it go. It became my mantra; I burned it into my brain. It fit me perfectly. “I know nothing with any certainty” Yep, that’s me. I had no idea what would happen to my life the day after graduation. I had no idea what would happen to my family. I had no idea what would happen to with my friends once they left for college and moved on. I had no idea what would happen to me.  That part, described all the loneliness I felt inside of me. “But, the sight of stars makes me dream.” This part of the phrase is what gave me hope. To me, it said, all of these amazing things are possible, and you can be a witness to them. There is so much goodness in the world, and you can let that goodness fill you. It’s okay to think about the future, even if you’re not sure how the HELL you’re going to get there.

A quote or a sentence like Van Gogh’s won’t fix your life.  It won’t  make your problems go away. But here’s what it did for me. It allowed me to wake up every morning  that what I did that day counted, even if I didn’t know for what. It helped me stay focused in my school work, because I realized that even if things didn’t work out like I thought they should, having good grades was important. It pushed me to achieve greater things, because I realized that not the whole world judged me on whether I had papers or not. And, that it was okay to sometimes forget. It made me realize that being a good person was so so important, not matter where you were trying to go in life. That learning to be kind was a skill that would be welcome anywhere.  That, there was nothing wrong with hoping and dreaming. It made me realize that I had no choice but to hold my chin up, and that dreaming was something they could never take away from me.

There are beautiful and nasty things in our world. Only let the good things reside in you, and let them empower you to move forward. Let yourself be inspired, know that you are not alone, and never ever ever ever stop dreaming.

<3,

PB

"

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

"

"Let America Be America Again" By: Langston Hughes

dreamactnow:

URGENT: Marcelo is currently being held in a detention center and could be deported as early as Tuesday! Please take action now to stop his deportation!

SIGN AND REBLOG!!

GUAYABAS- Shout out to all the DREAMers out there~

Losing hope is easy.

There was a time when undocumented youth felt the need to hide in the shadows and be consumed by our shame. It was a dark time in the world of DREAMers but that time is over.

All across this great nation, undocumented youth are speaking up and don’t think for one second that our voices are not being heard. The fight ahead of us is a long and difficult one but we will not settle for hiding in the shadows again. That era is over. A new era has started. The era of fighting for our rights.

But even today there are DREAMers afraid to speak up. We’re fighting for those DREAMers. Fighting to let them know that they do have a voice and hiding in the shadows is something of the past.

Don’t be ashamed of being undocumented.

Don’t be ashamed of your struggles because those struggles make you the person you are. Draw strength from your struggles because change is coming. We will continue to fight the good fight until we’re heard and things change.

 And they will change.

All across the country we love so much DREAMers are speaking up. We’re getting arrested and fighting for their future. We are organizing and standing against racist legislation. We are fighting deportations. We are taking a stand and slowly but surely we are making progress and changes.

Why?

Because DREAMers don’t accept defeat.

So if you’re ashamed, scared or lonely, know that you are not alone. GUYA is a part of something much bigger; we’re a part of a network of DREAMers fighting for our future. And we want you to join the fight when you’re ready. Know you’re not alone. We are a family. A family of DREAMers and we don’t leave other DREAMers behind.

Where ever there injustice being done to DREAMers is where we’ll be.

Undocumented, Unafraid and Unapologetic!
- HQ

noface-nameless:

This is Hope Mathe, Andy’s courageous mother. I am sure, by now, most of you have heard of Andy’s dire situation. And I have told you my personal encounter with Andy’s brother Malcom last weekend.

Hope is going through her second fight against our broken immigration system. She, herself, has already been through detention center with Andy when they first fled here to the United States, the land of the Free, seeking asylum from death treats back in South Africa.

So why is that this beautiful mother of three has to go through this travesty not only once but twice?

She is my hero. I admire her so much for her strength.

I cannot even dare to convey the pain she is going through right now.

Please, keep-signing-the-petition. Reunite Andy with his family, where he rightfully deserves to be. No family should be going through such obstacles and pain to seek safety and freedom for their lives, for their children’s lives, for their future.

If our government and our politicians are turning a blind eye to this precious family, it is up to US to set things straight. Make the government see what they are doing right now. What are they doing?!?


The Undocumented, Unafraid, Unashamed, and Unapologetic

Georgia stands in solidarity with the Mathe’s family.

Please pray and sign the petition to keep Andy safe with his family. 

noface-nameless:

For some reason today inside the bloggo sphere, there was a lot of coming out posts, or coverage of students who came out in the past. And it has made me very pensive and slightly emotional. (in a good way).

Looking back at myself personally, I was sheltered, I was hiding, and I was afraid of being undocumented, just 2 months ago. I started this blog back in March in hopes of releasing my pain of being undocumented as an anonymous blogger. So, what happened to me in that short period of time?

I had the honor to meet the DREAMers from all across the country. The DREAMers  I have only seen and read through media outlets, the DREAMers whom I always had hard time understanding, the DREAMers I have always looked up to. I met Viri and Tomtom from NC Dream Team, I met Gina from Georgia Dreamers, I met Mo, Dulce, Andrea, David…and later on I met Isabella, Felipe and the list goes on.

 Seeing them in person, the people whom I only watched through CNN or read through New York Times, changed my outlook on this fight. Because they weren’t just a face I saw through a TV screen or names I read in black print. They were just like me: students, struggling, and fighting to survive, standing up for their rights, their future, and their dreams.

The battle, the journey, for me, started off as a personal gain. I was looking for shoulders to lean on, to cry on, and to slobber over. But now, it’s something totally different. It has transformed into something much bigger. It is no longer about me anymore.

Every time I am faced with the question, “what is your goal in this fight”, or “what are your motives”, “why are you doing this”, the answer is this. I am fighting for all the other thousands of students hiding in fear, all across this state, all across this country, for being undocumented. We shouldn’t be afraid, or ashamed, or even apologetic of the sacrifices our parents made to give us a life here in the US. And this isn’t some kind of media rhetoric. It is truly what I feel from the bottom of my heart.

This bond, this relationship we create along the way is so empowering and inspirational. And this will bring us to the top. And we will win.

These are the moments when I am glad this battle brought all of us together. Because, how in the world would I ever had the chance to talk to students like Kemi, Prerna, Arianna, and Justin when they are thousands of miles away? 

Sometimes, I picture the day when we achieve one of our top goals, the passage of DREAM Act, I picture all of the DREAMers from all across the country meeting up in D.C. to celebrate that moment. To cheer, to cry, to scream together.

And I picture all of us in the distant future, when we are in our rightful, fully deserved places in this society as cooks, business owners, lawyers, doctors, social workers, meeting up time to time share the stories of our fight and how far we have come, and be able to say, “That was one hell of a fight” and laugh our nights away.

Love,

Keish Kim

The Undocumented, Unafraid, Unashamed, and Unapologetic

GUYAvas coming out: Gustavo

  My name is Gustavo M. I am undocumented and unafraid. I came to the US at the age of 9, along with my mother, sister, and one of my uncles from Mexico. We walked across the dessert for almost 3 days. We saw things I wouldn’t wish upon anyone while getting to our home in GA. We all had blisters on our feet. We were extremely thirsty most of the time and when we ran out of water, my sister and I would try to suck the little sweat my mom would have on her arms. She told us to do this until we could find water again. At one point we were kidnapped by a gang in the dessert. They made everyone strip all the way down and took whatever little things of value we had. My sister and I weren’t stripped down, but, both, my mother and uncle were. It was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I actually believed that we would die that night. They took all of the money we had and any jewelry they found, then they let us go; the biggest relief of my life. We didn’t deserve to die and I thank God for allowing us to keep living.

 

        When I got to my home in GA, I remember seeing my dad for the first time in a very long time and running up to him to give him a hug. It was weird, very weird. I had forgotten what he looked like and I felt like I was running up to a stranger. But, I could feel it. I could feel he was my dad, and I could not have been any happier. I was welcomed with a much-needed shower and new clothes. My blue t-shirt had a picture of an eagle and the American flag. I remember walking out of the bathroom and my mom saying I was already getting in the spirit for our “new life”. Our new life… of course, I didn’t know what she meant at the time, but I trusted her and I felt safe. Food was abundant, which was a change from what it was back in Mexico. When we lived in Mexico, my happiest days were Saturdays. On those evenings, my father would come home with a half-gallon of milk and 4 bananas: one for my sister, me, my mom, and for himself. Here we had bananas and milk in the fridge everyday! It was heaven. We were definitely fed better here, mainly because we could afford it. Immigration status didn’t even exist in my head. I was 9 and I was going to the 5Th grade in a couple of months. 

        My first semester in 5Th grade, I made the A&B Honor Roll. I won the Golden Rule award and my teacher gave me a certificate for “Mastering a New Language” She meant English, of course. My middle school experience was great. I was one of the biggest band geeks in the school and I didn’t know it. I wouldn’t have traded the experience for anything. I remember on Awards Day, I dressed up because I was receiving awards. I received more than I expected and I was completely embarrassed afterward. My tie was a clip-on and I didn’t know it, but I wasn’t wearing it the correct way. My Technology teacher fixed it as he was handing me an award, in front of everyone, and I wanted the ground to swallow me.  After an 8Th grade of awkwardness, I was going to High School and would later find out about my situation.

 

        I loved my last 2 years of high school. I had broken out of my quiet shell and I was liked by people. Back then, besides grades, that’s what mattered the most. At least my first 2 years, after I stopped caring it got easier to be liked by people. There I met my best friends. It was 10Th grade when I found out I could not get a Learner’s Permit to drive. My ESOL teacher said she would take me to get it all; I had to do was bring some papers with me. She gave me a list and I took it home to my mom, with the great illusion that soon I would be able to learn how to drive. When I got home and asked my mom for the things on the list, she told me she couldn’t give me those things. I knew she didn’t trust me with important papers, since all my life she had sheltered me, but I told her she could trust me with these. Then, she told me exactly why she couldn’t give me those things. She asked me if I remembered when she told me about going on vacation to see dad, I said I did. Then she told me the truth. She cried and begged me to forgive her for this, at the time, honestly, I still had no idea what all of this meant. I felt extremely sad because most of my friends were learning how to drive and whenever they would ask me to show them my permit so they could laugh at my picture, I would tell them a lie. I would say to them, “I didn’t want to get it because I get extremely dizzy in cars and I could pass out, so my “doctor” advised me not to get it. Of course, this was a lie. I had no doctor and I didn’t get dizzy during car rides, but I felt like telling them that would keep me being “one of them”. 11Th grade was a breeze. I was more involved in extracurriculars, I joined the ROTC program, joined the Marching Rifles, Art Club, German Club, Yearbook Club, Philosophy Club, and I was VP of The Principal’s Round Table for 2 years. It wasn’t until halfway through my Senior year that I learned I wouldn’t be able to attend college. I learned that I couldn’t attend any of the colleges I was interested in, either because they didn’t accept undocumented students or I couldn’t afford it. Undocumented became part of my vocabulary quickly after graduation. I had never understood what it meant, until it affected me directly. Even if I had scholarships, I would not have been able to attend any of the colleges that would accept me. I needed financial help from my parents, but they couldn’t help me. We were barely surviving on $16,000 a year. A family of 6 we were. How we ever managed to make it is beyond me, but we did.

 

        After graduation I fell into a deep depression. I didn’t eat, sleep, or hang out with friends. I would cry whenever I did go out. All my friends would talk about how they would live their college days and that they would come see me over breaks. But, that wasn’t something that made me feel well. I felt like a prisoner in my hometown. I couldn’t get out until I decided I had to work hard for a long time in order to save money and go to school. It wasn’t a hard decision for me to make. I had always been a hard-worker and I didn’t see working to save up for school as anything bad. I actually looked forward to the idea. In the process I became very involved with The GA DREAMers. I realized I was not alone. There were other people in my situation and that made me feel better. We would have meetings and talk about our lives. Tell our stories and it was liberating. I felt like a burden was taken off my back, even though, my undocumented status stayed the same.

 

 Up to this day, I had dedicated myself to reaching out to the community and trying to lead them to political enlightenment and social awareness. I still do, but my situation has finally caught up with me and now I have to deal with the consequences that come with what I did when I was 9. Never having realized exactly what I was doing at that age, now I have to face up to it. But, I am not afraid of what can happen, I will face it and overcome it. I have been part of an organization that has brought me in contact with so many people in my situation, people with no fear. People willing to give it all for their DREAMs and today, I am one of those people. I will fight until I have nothing left to fight with. My family, friends, and future are in this country and I will fight for it until God takes away the strength for me to fight. My name is Gustavo M. and I am undocumented and unafraid.

My Beautiful Madre……….

Hello Wolrd, 

This is my very first time on tumblr….but I’m very excited to be here :)After a long week of events & actions here in GA it’s time to take a step back and reflect.I guess I had an urgency to write an article for Mi Madre lol(she hates it when I call her that)

Tuesday June 28th,2011 we had a Coming out of the Shadows Rally here in GA where 6 Undocumented Students publicly claimed their status. This rally lead to a small march around the Golden Dome, which then escalated to a non-violent civil disobedience. The three juveniles were released to their parents, and the three adults were sent to Fulton County jail.

Wednesday while Jessica and I sat in the Fulton County Jail we looked at each other and stared around at the women next to us.We were in the holding cell and it was really cold. It was a tiny cell with 9 or 10 other women. There were many prostitutes, women who were in there for theft, aggravated assault, simple battery just to name a few. They all seemed to know one another and were used to the process already. I remember one lady in the corner saying :’I ain’t new to this shit, i’ve been counted all the blocks in this bitch-twice” She was talking about the blocks that made up the holding cell. She even knew many of the guards,by name.

Eventually everyone went around explaining why they were in there. When it got to Jessica’s turn, she looked over at me. I nodded my head and Jessica began to explain why we were wearing graduation caps & why we were locked up in that cell with them. After we explained the term ‘Dreamers’ to them and our reasons ,their eyes opened up real wide and their jaws dropped.It was hard for them to wrap their heads around what they were listening to. It got quiet for a second and then one lady in the back told us” At least yall in here for the right reasons,unlike us bitches” A sense of respect covered us at that moment and we didn’t know what to say. Even the guards said that they had seen us on the news and that they couldn’t believe we were in their jail. I remember one of the guards at the front desk ,kept looking over at us in disbelief.

After being moved around from cell to cell, being put in jump suits,fingerprinted ,taken our mug shots,given a tuberculosis shot and had blood drawn from us..we were exhausted from the lack of food and sleep.

In the last cell where we were moved to before our court hearing, we met a mother who was in deportation proceedings. She,like everyone else was wearing her navy blue jump suit that said “Fulton County Inmate” in chancels & handcuffs,ready to be taken to Stewart Detention Center where she would be deported in a couple of months. Then & there is where it hit me— that could have been MY beautiful mother!!! At that moment I was reminded exactly why I was in there.The sleep depravation and hunger didn’t matter at that point.I realized that there was no other place I’d rather be than sitting next to that hard working mother before she was taken away. We offered to help her, but she said she was so sick and tired of the whole situation that she just wanted to go back home(Mexico). It was understandable 5 days in a jail cell is pure mental break down.

We are thankful that we were released, after a night in jail but unfortunately cases such as this mother impacted me! This mother will be sent back & separated from her family.This whole experience reinforced my personal reasons for organizing & let me know that we must continue to organize, mobilize in order to fight back!

Until now my mother is still upset that I ended up in a jail cell. That is the last place where she would have wanted to see her only daughter. She supports the movement and she understands the reasons behind it, but simply because “Soy carne de su carne, sangre de su sangre” as she said….it hurts her. She’ll come around …I believe it ;)

Lately I’ve spoken to many dreamers that hold back from organizing because they fear the reaction by their parents. I was in this same exact situation not to long ago. Disobedient is the last word that would ever describe me. But I’ve come to realize that I am a part of something bigger. That this movement is stronger than me/more powerful than me…..and it’s something I can not control :)My parents are both coming to realize this as well and we’re working together to live in peace. Change has been hard on them, and change has been hard on me…but I don’t regret anything that I have done thus far & i know that deep deep down as far as you can search into their hearts ,their proud of me as well.

Mami & Papi If you ever read this I want you to know that it is your love,& undying courage that gives me the strength to continue to fight! I’m sorry,no tuvieron una hija normal :D I Love You!!!!

Ps. For everyone who helped out & supported the Georgia 6 Action, all our love right back at cha!!! We could have not done this with out you. 

Gracias,

DG ;)

***CALL NOW!!! HIS DEPORTATION IS SET FOR THIS FRIDAY THE 17TH! ***

direality:

***Please read this DREAMers story and CALL***URGENT Action Alert !!! Coach Miguel Aparicio needs your help to stop his deportation Call Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security 202-282-8495

Call Assistant Secretary to ICE, John Morton and leave a message urging him to stop the deportation of Coach Miguel Aparicio 202-732-3000.

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/You-Can-Stop-Coach-Miguel-Aparicio-s-Deportation.html?soid=1102516353608&aid=hp58AAZoui0 

CALL NOW!!

HEART AND SPREAD!