My confession: I have a dying need to emulate people in my life. Once upon a time, I imitated everyone I admired. Next step down the road…conversations about them…I genuinely feel okay having.
A. A moment that means the world to me- I’m standing in the room a ICIRR where most of our meetings happen and I’m sharing my story and I look up and Tania is listening to me. She wasn’t engaging herself in a conversation through me. It was one of the first, it was one of the only times I ever felt like someone was listening.
B. She is gorgeous. When we were in Alabama last year I got to do her makeup (really i just put eyeliner on her and lipgloss). I was so honored because the coloring and lip gloss brought attention to her good looks.
C. Yesterday, she spoke at the No NATO rally and a few sentences into her speech/statement (?) I started recording it. I found myself listening to it on my way home and I couldn’t stop replaying it. Wish I could give beautiful words to the goosebumps I felt.
D. Tania is my strength ally. Maybe its habit from spending hours memorizing Qu’ranic verses but I do find myself imprinting words within me when I appreciate them. I found myself slowly transcribing her words in my head as I listened to it. I’ll share for those who would like to read them:
“…people are living in the United States with no way to be recognized as full human beings we continue to resist. There is resistance not only by those who have the privilege of having U.S citizenship or legal status but also by those of us who are perceived as vulnerable. Who are undocumented. All over the country there are immigrants from all sectors organizing and saying loud and clear that we are
undocumented, unafraid, and unapologetic.
And to conclude I have basically three messages:
1. To my undocumented people- Only when we are scared and we do not organize do they have power over us. It is not easy but we must fight back.
2. To our allies- Understand that existing, organizing undocumented in the United States is a constant struggle and that we need solidarity.
3. And to the government- As long as there are wars and poverty there will be migrants. As long as there are people in power that benefit from deportations there will be deportations but there will also be those of us fighting them. And as long as there are undocumented people there will be those of us willing to protest, willing to risk arrest, willing to risk deportation in order to highlight the hypocrisy of the government.
Because as long as there is oppression there will be resistance. “