The Andy Lopez march went well, no one was hurt, killed or arrested. I have not heard of any vandalizing. The “F bomb” was dropped a few times, some people flipped off the police. The fearmongers were wrong. They were wrong because they don’t know the community, let alone the Latino community. They’re out of touch. Surprising, right?
I parked at the Sheriff’s Department and got a ride to SRJC with Caroline Bañuelos, where we got a yellow vest and went to work trying to control 1000+ people. We marched to the Sheriff’s Department, heard some speakers, and before you know it, it was over.
Ok, it wasn’t quite that simplistic, but you get the picture: it went relatively well.
Lots of kids got to take the mic at the end of the march and express themselves, some better than others. I almost cried when they talked about knowing Andy Lopez, about losing their friend in such a horrible way. A mother who lost her son to police violence also spoke, and that choked me up as well. The lawyer who represented Oscar Grant’s family in a civil suit spoke as well. It was all very sobering.
Of course, I took the mic as well. I identified myself as a school board member but said I was there as a mom and a community member. Then I blasted the supervisor and others for their fearmongering. I blasted them for not knowing the community they represent. I blasted them for relying on “Hispanics” to advise them. Hispanics who don’t have their finger on the pulse of anything except the next chamber mixer. Yup, I really did. I said all that.
I said it because
- I’m tired of these sin verguenzas speaking for a community they know nothing about
- I’m tired of our leaders not having any huevos
- I’m tired of our leaders not speaking truth to power
- I’m tired of “liberal allies” who care more about whether their eggs are from cage-free chickens than they do whether or not the (usually Mexican) workers are treated justly
- I’m tired of people accusing me of playing the “race card” because I have the audacity to mention race
- I’m tired of people treating the Latino community as if we’re a bunch of criminal illegal aliens, or simply ignoring us
- I don’t give a flying **** if people don’t like hearing it
- Because I have values and they’re more than window dressing
I may not be as polished or as suave as some would like, but too bad. I may not be as white and uptight as some would like, but too bad. I still have gifts to offer my community, and that’s what I’m doing. You want sunshine where the sun don’t shine? Don’t come to me, there are lots of other leaders you can search out for that.
I’m almost 50 years old (5 days and counting). Andy Lopez’ death shows us that our time here is fleeting and if we’re going to make a difference, we can’t sit around wishing for it.
And as for not caring what people think, well, maybe that’s not entirely true. These are a few comments I got today, and they mean a lot to me.
Thank you for speaking out for Andy López a and for our Community. You make me proud.
I don’t post but I do read what you post. I have learned so much from your comments. You do a great deal for our community. Te admiro como mujer, madre, maestra y activista pero sobre todo por tu gran corazón. Keep up the good work!
Thanks for your honesty and transparency. Keep speaking truth to power!
I loved your message of power and to listen to the real community to not be fooled by people who say they represent speak truth to power i am your ally, let me know how i can support you.
Your message was one of the strongest today, Laura.
This is why I do what I do. I believe that we are all given gifts by God and one of our life’s missions is to figure out what that gift is, nurture it and use it. I can teach (tho I think I’m a much better teacher with adults), and I have a voice, and I have the courage to use it. And I use it for people who don’t have a voice, or haven’t found it yet.
This is how I give back to a community that has given much to me.