Unai Montes-Irueste of Cuéntame Outreach shared this video with me and after watching it, I am reminded that while we should have pride and solidarity with our own Asian Pacific American communities, we must constantly be vigilant and extend our love and support to other communities as well.
After 9/11, it wasn’t just Middle Easterns and Desis that were the victim of hate crimes but anyone who also looked like the “enemy.” Several Latino Americans have been attacked and as you can see in this video, an Ecuadorian was brutally murdered simply due to a case of mistaken identity. This story strikes an eerie resemblance to Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man who was murdered because his attackers believed he was Japanese and couldn’t tell the difference. How many of us have been a victim of racial incidents and/or hate crimes? As a person of color, these incidents do happen and will continue to happen until we take decisive steps to do something about it.
For those of us who have been a victim of hate crime, the personal experience can be overwhelming and can cause some of us to deny that it ever happened. For others, we become resentful of the world around us and refuse to see the good in people. For me, I can honestly say that I was the latter for the longest time. I was a young, confused man who was filled with so much hatred against the world until I learned how to turn that hatred into a powerful healing tool, not only for myself, but for others.
So I leave you guys with this: regardless of the color of your skin, if you have been a victim of hate, you can use that to make this world a better place. It all begins with one simple choice and with you, you have the choice in telling your story for others to hear. Your stories are worth telling and are worth hearing and if we can all do this by learning to reveal something ugly within ourselves, we got a sure fire way to make some true change in this world.
Cuéntame is a groundbreaking platform for the Latino community and the public at large which interacts with people through videos on social justice issues, the arts, and culture. Their primary focus in this effort has been the Latino community, but increasingly their work has taken them to building broad coalitions with not only other communities of color, but also working class, even middle class, white Americans. They recently launched a project of topical testimonials called Latino Voces.