As a person of mixed heritage with a usually-mispronounced name, I often feel like I exist in the in-between. Too dark to be this; not quite Mexican enough to do that; “Why don’t you speak fluent Spanish?”; “No, but like… where are you FROM?”. Sometimes it’s entertaining to slip in and out of pre-conceived roles or spaces, of people’s expectations; mostly it’s tiring, having to explain myself over and over.
I won’t pretend to know how exhausting it must be to occupy one pre-determined space ALL THE TIME, having zero flexibility in how you’re perceived, no matter how hard you’ve strived to be excellent or avoid conflict.
What is clear to me, black and white, even from the places of gray where I’ve lived most of my life: the behavior of the people in power — politically, “protectively” — is WRONG.
Encouraged by my long-time role model and continually inspiring friend, Anthony McGill, here is a small video of support, of music, of solidarity. It’s nothing, in the grand scheme of things, but it’s what I know how to do in this moment.
I am Mexican, Basque, Italian, Russian, Hungarian. I am American, born and raised. I am equally at home outside the arbitrary lines of this country, where I happened to enter the world in 1986, as I am inside them. I am heartbroken. I am motivated. I am pledging to do whatever it is that I can do to help. I am guilty of not doing enough already. I am vowing to speak up, loud and clear: to strangers, to distant family members, to anyone here who dares to rationalize the unforgivable behavior we have seen, yet again, from those meant to keep us safe.
One knee is no longer enough.