I'm all about speaking intelligently, making coherent arguments and putting things in context, but Marcello* Lucero was MURDERED simply b/c he was Latino, and the New York Times keeps ignoring the (in)humanity of it all.
Their article on the 10th at least starts with the statement the group of SEVEN made: "Let’s go find some Mexicans." The details known at the time were mentioned, which is good, but then they end with:
It is not yet clear how closely connected Mr. Lucero’s murder is to this broad wave of xenophobia.Um. It seems pretty freakin' clear to me that there is a strong connection between the "fuck all the immigrants, kick them out of the country, all Latinos are immigrants and don't deserve to be here" and a case of SEVEN teens who declare "Let's go find some Mexicans," and consequently beat and stab a man to death because he fits their profile (all Latinos are the same, after all).
Then they have another article that seems to focus more on statistics and singing kumbaya than on how incredibly disgusting this all is. I appreciate their desire to end the article on a positive note, but when are we going to address the actual issues here?!
This isn't exactly new, though it certainly seems to be on the rise. I've lived in the U.S. for almost my entire life. I learned how to speak perfect English to avoid the ridicule and shame that others around me were experiencing because they still had an accent. Yet, I just admitted to you all a week ago that I was never able to feel American. I've been told to go back to where I came from. I've been called a spic. I've been called an immigrant (not b/c they knew I was one, but b/c they wanted to insult me). I've been told to swim back home. But what I've experienced is absolutely nothing compared to what I've heard my peers and my elders go through.
We internalize these things. When they're forced back up to the surface, we may have different reactions (I feel anger and rage, and Lucero's brother feels "sorry for the families, in some way, because they have to be responsible for their kids"), but the root of the problem does not change.
Forget the fact that this country was built by slaves and immigrants. Forget the fact that most of these xenophobic, immigrant-hating "Americans" probably don't have to go back very far in their own families to find an immigrant. Forget the fact that people are already disillusioned enough when they get here and that it's often impossible to "go back to where they came from."
This is about HATE. This is about FEAR. This is about the fact that people would rather ignore this than talk about what's really going on. It needs to stop.
ETA: For those of you in NYC/LI, there will be a vigil Friday night at 7pm in Patchogue. Details here.
*I've seen his name spelled Marcello and Marcelo. Please no more comments about how I'm insensitive and can't his name right. Is that really what you want to focus on here??