Letters to the Editor: Latinx communities fighting racism don’t need Martinez, Cedillo and De León
By Tia Dominguez
After I spoke at the March for our Dream March in San Francisco, I had a phone call from our friend and colleague from The Chronicle, Miguel Estrada, who works closely with Latino youth in Berkeley. He informed me that while I had been in the community, and he had been out there, so many Latino kids had called him to ask him what they should do, and he was not able to give them answers.
As a community activist, as a community leader and as a leader in our community, I realized that the only way we can do our work in unity is to find out why kids don’t feel like they can relate to one another, and then to fix the problem. It didn’t really matter that this problem was not within our immediate control.
There was nothing we could have done. It is only after we do what we can do that we are able to go after the problems.
When I was at St. Mary’s Academy in Oakland, I met a mother from Mexico whose son had a hard time at school. She was unable to find information, books or tutoring. She was unable to connect to other immigrants to ask questions about the work that she felt they needed to do.
I sat her down, and we started to talk. I explained to her how her son could not be in a school filled with children of undocumented immigrants, who were in pain, facing discrimination, who had been ripped out of their families, the fear of having their families torn apart. She was in a state of despair.
I asked her what she needed to do. She explained that she needed to make a connection between her son’s struggles, which were about family, a connection she felt we all must make. It was not a question I could answer with my knowledge, but she was able to give her insight to others, and she was able to give hope. She told me, “He is always worried about what our teachers might say, what our parents might say.”
I asked her what her son could do to put his worries to rest.