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Sunday, April 25, 2010

A message to my brothers in the Reform Immigration For America Struggle

El Pueblo Unido Jamas sera vencido!

The people united will never be defeated!

We must be careful that our words of unity are not misunderstood as words of exclusion.

A People United  ... What people?   United against whom?   Who can and who cannot be part of the united people? And against whom do we need to defend?

Immigration reform must be open to all people. That includes those born in the United States, and who do not speak Spanish or are not Hispanic. That includes those born in other lands and who have come here for a new life.  We must be open to all people with different religions, different sexual orientations, different education levels, different countries of national origin, different points of view.

It is natural to react against the hand of oppression. What we must remember is, oppression is fear. We can solve the fears of others with love in return. 

Love your neighbor as your brother. That's easy to do if you're of the same race, but of a different opinion. It is difficult to do when we are of a different race and the same opinion.  For those of a different race and a different opinion, loving them may seem impossible.  To the extent we fail, we lose.

As a Guero activist for civil rights, I know there are Hispanics and Anglos who will never accept me. Some do not accept me because we are of a different race and a different culture, others will not accept me because I love all people of all races and cultures and they cannot. Both are wrong, I believe.

There is a simmering silent majority who is on the immigration reform side.  They are afraid, and they need our help and our understanding.  If you are Latino, grab the next Gringo you meet and hug him like he was your long lost brother. We need his vote and we need to teach him about the wonderful gifts the immigrant community has to offer him. 

If you can’t speak Spanish, come join us in our marches and rallys.  The next one is May 1st, 2010.  Then grab the next immigrant you see (Arizona police can tell one when they see one) and hold him like your long lost brother.  You need his help, and you have wonderful things to offer him.  Once you give of yourself you will gain beyond your dreams.  Don’t let fear block your way!

There is this dude in the Padres y Jovenes movement in Denver, Colorado.  He treats me like I am his little brother, although I am 30 years older than him. 

He invited me to be part of the community, he respects me, he introduced me to his wife and his friends and everything about him says, “Bien Venido” to the community!

  I want to do the same with all of you!  Welcome to this great country!  Let’s work together, let’s grow our friendship.  Millions of us feel the same way, but so many are shy.  Trust me, for every person who is ugly, there are ten more who love you like you were their little brother!

I understand the fear in the immigrant community and it is sad that many must have this fear. I love all people, including those who can not love me back.  To me, this is what Reform Immigration For America is all about.  It is an opportunity to grow with new immigrant brothers. 

One day soon, with the help of RIFA, we will win the struggle for civil and human rights. This fight is not just for immigrants. This fight is for justice and the conscience of the country. Immigration reform must be for all of us!

After we win reform, the work will have just started.  My immigrant brothers will need help.  I hope you all understand, you will always have a good friend in me!  I am sure I have one in you!

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