Lately, I’ve been noticing people’s faces
and I’ve been feeling like they are my own people.
They are not a “them” suffering anymore,
a number or stat, a face among the crowd,
they are one of US suffering, whatever their color may be,
the same struggle is in their eyes.
They don’t teach you this when you learn about the struggle.
It can’t be taught.
It’s something you have to feel.
Your only tool is your sense of empathy.
It grows with the work.
The more you work with people.
The more you see their faces.
The more you work across movements,
the more you learn to identify that little thing inside someone’s eyes that feels a lot like the pain you feel deep in your heart.
Their eyes look like my heart broken, like hope but bitter in the mouth, like tension in the throat, anger with tears. The frustration building up.
The big and ugly, neverending voice saying “why?”
The pain of injustice. It’s something you learn to see and recognize.
And after I saw that in so many people I understood the reason why I decided to do this work.
I don’t fight for the end of injustice.
I don’t fight for what is right
I don’t fight because I should to be a good person in my eyes or in someone else’s eyes.
I don’t fihgt because my conscience tells me to do so.
I don’t fight because it is the correct thing to do
because it will help me get to a better place in life or after life
or because my political ideology says I should,
my fight doesn’t say anything about the quality of my character,
it doesn’t make me feel better,
though it makes me feel whole,
It is true that these factors are present.
But I these are not the real reasons why I fight…
After all this time I’ve opened my eyes to the real reasons why the struggle is worth it.
I fight for my friends. So they can afford to go school, so they can walk their streets in their neighborhoods without being harrassed, so they can get the job they deserve, so they are not picked up and deported to a place away from home.
I fight for my family, so that we have enough to survive and to live, so that we are together again, so that we are together again, so that we are together again, I pray, I fight, so that we are together again.
I fight for my community, so that our kids don’t end up in jail, so that they have spaces to play, so that they can have hope for a better life and not learn to be hopeless like some of us have been at some point.
It’s survival and the hope of a better life we are fighting for.
Don’t complicate it, don’t make it philosophical, political, intellectual, religious, etc.
Don’t taint it with your partisan bushit.
We don’t need any more pandering
or anymore colonizing of our minds.
We need a way in and a way out of all the systems that trap us,
organizing to build power
so our children can be safe and healthy.
I try to remind myself to always fight for real things.
Lately I’ve been looking at people.
Numbers got on the way before.
Because now I know,
that the number one and the sense of loss,
if paired are just too much.
I walk, eat, work with “them”.
I live among “them”
I am “them”. It used to be “them” before.
I see their pain, I feel my own.
And it needs to stop.
That’s why I fight.
For something real…
for my friends, for my family, for the families in our communities, for all people who have that pain in their eyes which I feel too. For our lives.