How the Hell Did I End up Here

My hands are up in surrender.

I’m looking you in the eye,

looking for the drop of empathy.

I’m hoping I’m saved  by the next bystander

Who’s probably  filming this whole situation.

But I feel your cold hands on mine .

You’re telling me to stop resisting,

but I’m only tense because

How the hell did this happen.

How the hell did I get into this situation.

“You have the right to stay silent,”

Yeah, Well, I’ve been silent my whole life.

“Anything you say can be held against you.”

Yeah, yeah I learned about the Miranda warning in the 3rd grade.

But how the hell did I get here.

Looking out the window to my right,

I’m wondering what I did wrong.

Was it because I was brought here at the age of 2,

or is it because I stole that candy bar at the age of 5?

My mother always said i’d be caught for that.

But how the hell did I get here.

His smoke is making it hard to breathe,

but I’m used to this sense of suffocation.

What will my parents think?

Their straight A, college bound daughter

arrested being told she has the right to stay silent.

and silent she stays.

But how the hell did I end up in a jail cell.

These are the types of nightmares I keep having lately. In every dream, I’ve been getting arrested and taken to a weird place. It feels so real,  I can’t speak in these dreams even when I try, I can only think. I’m not sure if it’s because of all the recent events or my constant fear of being deported, but I felt the need to share it to try to put my mind at ease.

 

 

Justice is Served… For Some

Lately, I’m sure we’ve all watched the viral video of a disabled 18-year-old being kidnapped and tortured. I’m also sure we’ve all by now heard of the various ways this man has received justice and support. I’m glad this man got the justice he deserved, no one should have to go through such an atrocity. And I mean no one.

The 4 people who committed this crime were jailed and received no bail. This is good, they deserve their punishment. However, I still keep hearing people say things like “we should riot, that’s what BLM people do when it happens to them. Now we can see what BLM is really promoting.” I just want to point out a few things about this.

First of all, the ignorance rooted in these sentences is outrageous. It shows the lack of knowledge these people have on the various BLM protests there have been. These people seem to miss the point, the reason many protests follow many crimes on POC is because there is NO form of justice. That is why these protests are held, to fight for the justice that is deserved, yet that justice is dangled in front of the victim. Unlike this man, many POC never receive justice.

Second of all, BLM had nothing to do with what these 4 did. I am appalled at the various accusations that have been expressed against BLM activists and the BLM movement in general.

It is absurd that our justice system has a bizarre way of treating various cases. This victim received justice VERY quickly. But Last I heard, the white teen who raped a black mentally disabled teen got no jail time and the teen received no justice. One would think that such similar crimes would get similar punishments, but no because the ones who were punished are black and the one who wasn’t punished is white.

Stop trying to ignore the fact that this has something to do with race because it DOES. It has everything to do with race. There are hundreds of cases still pending, but this victim’s case was solved in a matter of days. Why? Because in those cases the victim is black and the perpetrator is white.

The amount of outrage this crime received from the white community is fascinating being that they rarely say anything at all when it’s the other way around. BLM and many minority communities have expressed their outrage on this crime, yet most white people are selective on which crime to speak for. I’m tired of this selectiveness. We should all be banding together to fight against the millions of injustices whether black, white, hispanic, etc. We are forgetting who is the real enemy in all these situations by attacking each other.

We all have to do our part and mend this corrupt, unjust society we have created. We can’t sit and watch all this happening. We must act. “The tragedy is not that things are broken. The tragedy is that they are not mended again.” – Alan Paton. On that note, I hope everyone has a great rest of their day in spite of all the atrocities taking place in this frightening world. 

 

 

2016.. Thank You, but Good Riddance!

2016, thank you for all the accomplishments and strengths, but good riddance. What can I say, this year was a very challenging year, truly rigorous if you may. But I sure did learn from it.

The beginning of the year itself brought great change. A new town, a new home, and a new life. I struggled, like cried-for-a-whole-week struggled. It was a very tough and quick change. I was forced to leave behind many friendships, traditions, ambitions, and relationships. I was forced to come up with new goals for myself. I was forced to adapt to a new lifestyle. And heck yes I achieved that. I adapted to my new school, I made new friends, I planted myself in every possibility to grow there. I overcame that challenge.

Not only that, but I also started my senior year in 2016. The most demanding and arduous year I have had to experience. I was expected to balance every AP class, sport, club, and even my family and relationship. I was faced with a great loss of a full ride scholarship and it almost consumed me. It was hard, and continues to be, but I have managed so far. I set up new tasks for myself and drafted new aspirations, and higher ones I never would’ve expected myself to take part in. These new goals brought sleepless nights, endless stress, doubt, and depression, but I conquered those hardships.

I strived for more this year. I saw new potential in myself I had failed to see in myself before. I never thought that my senior year I’d be applying to prestigious universities and thinking I have a shot at them. This is where doubt tried to overpower me, but it failed. I applied to those universities, I strived for Harvard, UChicago, Brown, etc. I know these are high aspirations for myself, but I was ready to take risks and I didn’t let doubt get in the way.

I told myself I’d lose a few pounds this year too and I am happy to say I accomplished that. Through hard work and effort I was able to get myself to 131 pounds, 14 pounds less, a weight I hadn’t been since I was a child. I also gave a chance to a sport I always denied, soccer. I started as a central mid, but soon found that it was not my calling. I trained hard to be the team’s next Goal Keeper and I am yet to progress, but I had many memorable games to learn from. I also tried a sport I’d never thought I’d be capable of, Cross Country. I achieved a great time for a first year and continue to crave for more. So, here’s to trying new things I would never imagine myself doing and succeeding!

I learned new things about myself this year, too. I am strong. Being undocumented became a strength rather than a weakness. Moving from Chicago to Richmond became a new opportunity rather than an inconvenience. I matured and found myself, figured out what I aspire to be. I am strong, resilient, and determined. I, as an undocumented Latinx woman, learned that I will not back down and allow myself to be defeated, I will fight back and win.

So 2016, thank you for letting me find out who I truly am and pushing me harder than ever, but it’s time to say goodbye and good riddance 2017, I expect this year to be just as demanding or even more, but I will stay optimistic and try just as hard or even harder. Happy New Year.

Where’s Clinton?

By now, we’ve all tried to decipher Trump’s tweets and even his public sound bites. We’ve also already heard plenty about Bernie’s ideas of retaliation and rants about the new presidency. But one person we have yet to hear from is Hillary Clinton. Where is she in all of this? I haven’t heard a word from her since they found her in a forest. Did she stay there?

We heard a great deal about what Bernie thought about the DAPL and he might have even influenced the decision by getting more people involved, but where was Clinton’s opinion in all this? I think the only time we got to hear from her was when Stein called for a recount, even then she didn’t personally speak for herself.

Honestly, I understand that she is trying to cope with the unexpected loss, but it’s been a while now and there is a lot that’s going on. I’m not trying to say she should suck it up and get on with her life because well we’ve all been through a loss and I would want to take some time off too.  I mean, I wouldn’t be ready to face all those prosecuting Trump supporters either. But she should definitely try and get back and start to formulate change like other former democratic candidates… *cough* Bernie *cough*

All I’m trying to point at is that we really messed up with this election. Not with the choice between Trump and Hillary (although that we also messed up, but that’s a whole other topic) but with Bernie and Hillary. I mean, you can cry all day that he would’ve never won because of how much it costs to run and how he was too common of a person, but we had the chance at changing that. We had a chance at a revolution and changing the power from the 1% to the people. Everyone only realized this until after the damage was done and that’s the sad part.

But I digress, wherever Clinton may find herself I hope she’s doing good and I hope she’s not giving up because what a huge loss should bring is motivation to try to do better at whatever’s next. And let’s all not just remember the possibilities, but strive to make new ones this year. We’re going to need the most optimism and positivity this New Year.

Happy New Year everyone!

 

Pure, White Rose

Delicate, pure white rose;

So fair and radiant in all its edges.

Quiet, Sensitive, white rose;

A beautiful melody that she composed

that vibrant, gorgeous white rose.

But In its quietness something unknown,

A dark finger caressing the elegant rose.

Distracted in the intricacy of the crime,

Was that wasting, white rose.

In her sadness she bent weak;

Decaying, deflowered white rose.

Until her vine spread brown.

And her petals yelled black.

And the beautiful melody ceased.

And the white rose finally lay

In a vase saturated with tears;

Forgiving in her wilt,

The white rose found beauty in herself.

And purity in her finally dwelt.

 

 

 

 

A Little Hope in a Jar of Hate

How do you feel about the results of the election? How are you coping with your emotions? I honestly don’t know how to answer these questions. I am not sure how to feel. I feel bitter and in shock. I am appalled by the decision we as Americans made November 8th. I am disgusted by the way we have let Trump’s inhumane ways affect our society and the way we interact with each other. Before he was “elected,” I don’t remember seeing these many hate crimes. I never experienced racism first hand until he was elected president. It wasn’t one day after and his election had already catalyzed various hate crimes.

I am afraid because of his promises.  I am an undocumented student and I don’t want my life and education to be jeopardized by his presidency. I know that many people say he won’t be able to do anything, but there’s still that fear; congress is majority republican and he will be the one to appoint judges, the ones who are supposed to determine whether something is constitutional or not. It’s frightening to live thinking maybe one day my life will be snatched away from me.

On the other hand, though, I am hopeful. I am hopeful that we as Americans will follow the steps our founding fathers and many other nations took to protest a corrupt government. To revolutionize and to gather ideas on how we will prevent this. I am not ready for 4 years of fear, anger, and torture. We have to act. We CAN change because that’s what democracy means. No, the decision is not official yet. We can still change it. the electors don’t have to vote for the candidate who won in their state. There are faithless electors who can change this outcome. Though it is rare, it has happened before; not enough to sway an election, but to spoil it. In 2000, there was one faithless elector who voted for Nader instead of Bush and Gore. It is unlikely, but if we keep voicing our opinions and keep protesting, it’s not impossible. This is why our founding fathers didn’t mandate that the electors had to vote for the candidate that won in their state, to prevent this type of election. I am hopeful we can do this or at  least come close and say we tried because then I’d feel more comfortable with society than I do at this moment. I am tired of hearing people say it’s done and that we can’t do anything about it because we CAN.

On that note, I hope everyone is safe and continues to be. I am sorry to those who are living in fear with me and to those who have been attacked by horrible people. I am hopeful that we will find a solution and fight to keep our liberty and freedom that our ancestors fought to keep. It’s now our turn.

Why Me?

 

To her family she wept, warm tears crept down the rosy red cheeks filled with sorrow and guilt. Screams of the for-so-long unheard young woman were finally being let out with force that has been kept in. Ringing in the ears of the verbally abused hurt, young woman. The ears that for so long heard things a juvenile girl should never hear. Ringing that she felt all over her body as they asked very vague, yet descriptive questions that demanded detailed answers. That ringing kept ringing, even at 3am as she was told to sleep sound and move on with her life as if it did not just shatter into pieces hours ago. She squeezed that tear-filled pillow on her face that refreshed her once-pure skin. Her swollen eyes helped her sleep through the rest of the unprecedented night. Those same eyes that saw things an 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 year olds should never see. Her hands clenched as she whispered “why me?”  yes, those same hands that had forcibly tried to get away from harm only to stay in place and let the powerful take over. Whispering with the mouth in which she thought her first kiss would be with a crush of hers in the 6th grade. Grinding her teeth just as she did when she was being attacked and again asking “why me?” Asking to the god she once believed in until she was so deeply failed by him. Failure, just as she thought she now was because of such an event that happened that night. That night that all her dreams fell apart. The good dreams, though. Not the vivid dreams she had that would wake her up to cry and yell into her pillow “why me?” The same yells she’d try to yell, but was never heard. Through the same mouth that was covered whenever she tried to yell. The yells that for so long she kept to herself due to fear that her life would never be the same. The same life that completely changed after she wept to her parents. The same life that was ruined by a disgrace of a human being. The same life that is now still living to see justice. The same life that even after the many tests done to her teenaged body, would never go back to normal. The same life that was ruined and is now under construction to be improved after being completely demolished. The condemned life that she now has to live and be reminded of her bitter memories. “Why me?”

Abusive Relationships Exist

 

He told me I was beautiful, but then asked me if anyone else has said this to me before.

But why does it matter?

He said he loves talking to me, but asked if he was the only guy I talked to.

But why? don’t you trust me talking to other guys?

He said my posts are amazing, but asked me if he can get my Facebook password.

But don’t you trust me to not have to go through my social media?

He said my outfit was nice, but asked if I was really wearing that to the mall.

But why does it matter what I wear and where I wear it to?

He said “baby, your body is beautiful, but we should go run together and burn off the fat”

But I love my body the way it is.

He said I love the way you swim, but maybe you should wear a cover-up when you have competitions

But I’m not competing to show off my body.

He said have fun with your friends, but then asked if there will be any guys coming along.

But why does it matter who goes? they’re just my friends, don’t you trust me?

He said “baby, I have no friends because I only talk to you, it’s not fair that you still have other friends.”

But I never asked you to stop having other friends.

He said my friendships with my friends are great, but asked me to stop hanging with her because she’s too “slutty”

But why are you insulting my friends?

He cried to me when I said I couldn’t take it anymore saying he would kill himself if I left him.

I can’t take the abuse anymore, but I don’t want you to kill yourself. 

Why didn’t I realize the mental abuse sooner? Why didn’t I tell him what I felt of the comments he’d say to me? I was blinded by the sweet nothings and the cute nicknames. I was in an abusive relationship and I never realized it. Many people find themselves in these situations. Many people I know have been told these things, but society has taught them that these things are okay because if your partner is overprotective it’s only because they love you. No person should ever have to hold back on telling their partner how they feel. If you’re uncomfortable with something, you should tell your partner. No one ever has to endure a relationship they’re uncomfortable in. If they love you, they’d trust you. If they loved you, they’d understand how you feel. Don’t hold back, speak up for what you feel.

 

 

 

Parallel

You comb your hair just as I do. You brush your teeth just as I brush mine. You sit in the same classroom as I do. You listen to the same teacher as I do.  You gossip as I do. You speak as I do. You participate in clubs just as I do. You help your community as I do. You go home to your parents as I do. You eat dinner as I do. You work as I work. You get ready for bed as I do. You dream as I do. But I comb my thick, black, and difficult hair as you comb your smooth, light hair. I brush my teeth humming to a Corrido my father has already turned on to clean the house before he heads to work as you brush your teeth in silence because its 5 am and your family is still sleeping. I sit in that classroom paying real, close attention to what the teacher is saying because my father didn’t go to high school to be able to ask him any questions as you sit talking to your friends because your mother already taught you this math section. I gossip about the parents who were just taken away from their children with the rest of my Latinx friends scared that I might be next as you gossip about the party that happened last weekend that I couldn’t attend. I participate in the DREAMERS club because it’s the only club where there’s people like myself to feel comfortable in as you participate in the Debate club talking about the issues that concern me and others like me. I help my community with empathy and compassion all over me because I’ve been in their place as you help the same community unable to closely understand their struggles. I get home to my single father who is cooking Arroz con Pollo Empanizado y Frijoles, but apologizes that it’s not done yet because he worked a longer shift today as you get home to your married parents already waiting at the dinner table with dinner cooked. I eat my food trying to explain to my dad the hard stuff I learned at school as I’m staring at his rough, overworked hands as you talk to your parents of the other amazing job opportunity that came up. I work from 7 am to 4:30 pm picking at the fruit with my bare hands and selling them with a smile in the heat just to earn 60 bucks to help pay for my school fees or whatever as you work your first retail job in the air conditioning earning at least $10 an hour. I get home and shower thinking of what scholarships I’ll be able to apply for given that without a social security number I can’t apply to many as you shower and think of what the next day will bring. I get ready for bed hoping that tonight I’m able to get rid of the thought of coming home and my father not being there cooking and setting the table because they took him as you get ready for bed worried about tomorrow’s exam I forgot to study for. I dream of getting into an Ivy-League college and dream of getting a full ride scholarship, I dream of one day being like you or as lucky as you, I dream of one day being successful because it’s all I got left for my family that never even stepped into a high school, as you dream of getting into a college of your choice without worrying about paying for it because you know you’re smart enough to get scholarships and grants.

See, you and I are very much alike, but because of my roots we live our lives differently. Because of my legal status we’re looked as two extremely different individuals even though we’ve been living the same life.  We’re living the same life differently, though. You and I are parallel.

Who gets the credit?

2010 Miss California’s husband is now the most decorated Olympian. Now, how does that sound? A little weird, right? Well, if you were a woman in the Olympics, you’d be used to it by now.

In the wake of the Rio Olympics, we’ve already seen headlines on articles giving credit to MEN  instead of the female Olympian herself. Not only in articles, but even the commentators gave credit to the men who accompanied the female athletes. It’s surprising to live in a time where sexism is still very vibrant. The Olympics is a great example of it.

Katie Ledecky set a world record in her 800 m freestyle, yet was only given the spotlight in tiny letters under Michael Phelps huge, bold headline about winning a silver medal. This, everyone, is sexism at its finest. Chic_trib_Olympics-e1470690672605-630x420

“Wife of a Bears’ lineman wins a bronze medal today in Rio Olympics” was an actual headline in the Chicago Tribune. (Now, being from Chicago, I am very disappointed.) They didn’t even bother to mention her name!

The NBC commentator spoke more about the make-up the female athletes were wearing rather than the way they were competing. Why would their make-up or appearance even matter?

What makes me cringe is that this is happening in 2016. The year in which people claim feminism is NOT needed. The year in which the word ‘feminazi’ exists. Maybe this is a wake up call for those people who believe women are already equal to men.

The problem with this is not exactly just not giving credit to the right person, but it’s the example we’re setting to other young girls around the world. This sends the message that if they ever do something as great as getting a gold medal at the Olympics, they’re not important enough to be recognized for it. That’s not what we need at all. We’re showing these young girls that women are being seen only as “the wife of so and so” and are not important enough to be accredited for their hard work and accomplishments. That is not what needs to be shown! We need to show girls that they ARE important enough to be the headline and they ARE important enough to at LEAST be credited for their accomplishments.

Basically, we need to change the way media portrays women, especially in sports and other things that men have traditionally dominated. Being that this year has been historically advancing for women in the Olympics, you’d think the coverage of it would be better than it has been. So many women have broken records, including women of color as well, but where is the credit for it? So little of the coverage of the Rio Olympics has been given to these female athletes and that NEEDS to change. These extremely talented female Olympians aren’t just the wife of so and so, they’re winners and champions and need to be accredited for it.