Though we tremble before uncertain futures
may we meet illness, death and adversity with strength
may we dance in the face of our fears.
I see the news and other media depicting a time in our society that is anti-immigrant and hostile towards “minorities” (people or color)! Deportation and incarceration rates are going up, affirmative action is being threatened, and the presidential election is just completely forgetting about working-class folks (they’re all about the middle class). All these issues and more are affecting the Latin@ community and its really daunting to think what the future holds for us. Another tough question to ask too is what my future hopes for the Latino community are, especially when are being affected by all this injustice.
I found my answer in quotes I looked up on the internet from writers that inspire me. In the quote I included by the late Gloria Anzaldua, Chicana Lesbian writer from Texas, she says “may we dance in the face of our fears.” It seems hard to do such a thing but it’s uplifting to think of hard times in this way. As a community, we dance together, eat together, and party together for so many occasions, Dia de los Muertos for instance! We also have roots and a long history in resistance to adversity as well (such as the rebellions against the Spanish colonizers and the struggles of the farm worker’s movement.) Our cultural legacy is our strength!
Ultimately, I want our community to become stronger and to struggle no more!
As Latinas, I feel we can be instrumental in creating this future!
A friend posted a quote on Facebook the other day by bell hooks, a Black feminist writer, which made me feel really empowered.
Feminist ideology should not encourage (as sexism has done) women to believe they are powerless. It should clarify for women the powers they exercise daily and show them ways these powers can be used to resist sexist domination and exploitation. Sexism has never rendered women powerless. It has either suppressed their strength or exploited it. Recognition of that strength, that power, is a step women together can take towards liberation.
The quote speaks to the inequality we face as women. Often times as Latinas we are misrepresented, left out, overlooked, or silenced in our day-to-day lives. What bell hooks wants to remind us is that these obstacles we face don’t mean we are weak but that actually we are powerful and together we can be free from the inequality that we face.
Latinas can make change together in our community and show our families and friends that we are strong and when we (all the diverse folks of the Latin@ community: mujeres young and old, people with disabilities, queer folks) work together, we will bring down the oppression in our lives.