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Today I met a woman from Perú whose been in Argentina for several years. We started talking about our lives, and why we both live in countries that aren’t our own. She asked me where I was born. Most people here don’t actually believe me when I say El Salvador because of my “funny accent.” So I told her I was raised in the USA. She said she once met someone from El Salvador who moved to Argentina escaping the war and gangs. Basically I told her most people from El Salvador who go to the USA go there for the same reason, whether it’s on a plane or La Bestia. She knew about that “horrible train.”

I started telling her about some of the work I did in MS, how things are, how deportations work and what it was like growing up in the USA and how I don’t really know El Salvador. Before I left the park she said, “wow. I’m going to pray for the immigrants in the USA. I almost want to go there and help.”

#Not1More, everyone.

Link: Anti-Blackness and Non-Black Latinos


askangy:

At the age of 6 I held my arm up to hers and made fun of her skin color because it was darker than mine.

A family member was shunned for marrying an…

yup

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Reblogged from askangy

I’ve been thinking about the future and realized I have to stick to art. I’m lucky to have met/been in contact with folks at CultureStrike over the past year who do things I’m interested in doing, and who have been there to guide me from time to time even though I don’t know most of them personally. I came this decision two years ago when I was considering law school and realized that 1. I can’t afford it in the US and 2. even though I can study law abroad, the LL.M programs to get admitted into the bar really confused me, and I’d have to know what state I want to go to after living in said country. I kind of always wanted to practice human rights law, but you get paid CRAP in the USA for that, even if you get into a student loan forgiveness program you can lose it if your non-profit shuts down or your program gets defunded. In the end I decided that the court room is too limiting, and I don’t even have the patience to deal with judges or the system. I’d have to give up art too.

I share this because people in the community wonder why the legal system is so unjust in the USA. It’s already rigged to be this way. It bars people of color who want to assist their communities from even attending Law school because LSAT courses and test prep are monopolized by one company and charge fees that only the most privileged people can pay. Then, only the most privileged people can even afford to pay tuition at a law school, and to pay all your loans back you have to be an indentured slave to corporations, or fleece the community you’re serving just to make ends meet. That being said, I’m still going to look into BIA accreditation. I’ve lost my passion for most aspects of the immigrant rights movement, but I wanted to get the accreditation to work on END cases, which are really the only things I even “move” for nowadays. Many of the organizers who work on them in the South are great and effective leaders, but even with DACA, many non-profits haven’t offered this option to them. I don’t know if it’s because of the responsibility or the amount of work, or just because US deportation cases are extremely difficult to most Southern lawyers—90% of whom have no clue what they’re doing in immigration law or who only care about ripping people off because their student loan balances are six figures.

culturestrike law school LSAT

I remember reading Eat, Pray, Love before moving to BA thinking it would prepare me for adventures. I’ve have 0 adventures and a lot of high and low moments. Sometimes I catch myself in awe of the “bravery” of people who travel alone and then I realize my mother brought me to the USA from El Salvador in the middle of a Civil War and I’ve never actually thanked her for it. 

We fawn over privileged people who can afford cruise ships to Antarctica or backpacking in Europe or the Siberian train. And a certain part of me thinks it’s slightly ok to do that. Most people don’t follow their dreams or their gut, even in a multiple choice test, most people don’t even follow directions. But if we’re going to hold world travellers in high esteem, then perhaps we the citizens of First World countries, or at least citizens of less messed up Third World countries, should be equally respectful to parents who cross borders or overstay visas to keep their children from going hungry or living in turbulent wars. 

Perhaps it’s that when you’re nearing your thirties, as I am, you become more “motherly” but if I were a parent I would certainly cross the border for a hungry child or out of some necessity (turbulent war, high inflation, to make money to send back home). 

I’m only sad that after such a long time being in the USA as an immigrant I never actually thought of things this way. 

On another note, I used to think immigrants to Argentina were “privileged” but I realized they aren’t. I’m glad this country doesn’t have an equivalent to ICE and very little (possibly none) deportations. However, I don’t wish this amount of inflation on anyone in the USA. Yes, you don’t need to be from Argentina to get an education or health care, getting documented is easier, but living here without papers means you’re still living at the whims of Wall Street in the USA. If anything happens and has to do with them, you get to live in a country with high inflation and still feel the effects of shock doctrine anyway. Being a brown/black immigrant here is though. Afro-Argentines are practically erased from history and there is little acknowledge of the African/Afro-Latino immigrants here. Hmmmm….. I don’t see life through rose-coloured glasses anymore.

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I shared this reflection with a friend earlier this week over WhatsApp:

You would never dream of falling asleep at work and being able to make money or keep your job. In Buenos Aires grocery stands that sell vegetables/fruits only are called verdulerías. I started making friends with the woman who runs the verdulería stand where I always buy my fruits/veggies. The first time I met her I woke her up, and I remember having to do this the first few times I bought things from her. She didn’t like me because of this but it’s the nearest verdulería.

She started noticing that I kept buying from her despite the fact that I often woke her up. Pretty soon we began talking and she always asked me how my day was, where I’m from, etc. She’s an immigrant from Perú. I don’t even know what her first language is, but she speaks Spanish with a thick accent. I began noticing that she’s always her stand, sometimes with one of her relatives, another woman who helps her work. Both of them always look tired and a few days ago neither of them could stop yawning. I finally asked her if she’s open seven days per week and she said yes, and that when she goes to the wholesaler to get her merchandise she only sleeps 3 hours that day, and this is why she’s always tired. Just goes to show that it doesn’t matter if you move from the US to México or from Perú to Argentina: the ones who make your country run always do the hardest work at their own expense and for someone else’s benefit.

Hmmmm, at a certain point when you’ve been living in a “new” country for too long the feeling of adventure wears off and reality hits you. When it does, it will hit you hard. You will look in the mirror believing that you’ve gone insane, or wondering why you are where you are. Reality doesn’t care if you’re prepared, if you’re strong or weak, if you’re rich or poor, it will simply rock your world, expose your weaknesses and it won’t take no for an answer.

Let’s just say that I now have a new respect for my friends in the USA fighting for moratoriums on deportations, human rights, etc. Sometimes you don’t know how privileged you are until you give it up. And yet, I’m still not homesick for the USA. The idea of going back now would seem a bit forced, and even though this month basically sucked, I feel it’s just not the right time.

Migration isn’t pretty. Migration is complicated, and next to anyone who goes to the USA, I have absolutely nothing to worry about except finding a hustle.

Y en un sueño me acuerdo haber escuchado esto: 

Las cosas no se hacen porque tienes fuerza, suficiente comida, y veces no las haces porque te gustan: se hace todo por las generaciones que vienen, porque solamente vives una vez y porque tienes dos pies para caminar.

I’ve been listening too much Calle 13/Nujabes, or my subconscious is actually trying to tell me something.

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