Community column: The shape of hope
By Alberto Moreno, El Hispanic News
Everything has a shape.
Our lives have a shape. Love has a shape. Fear and courage have a shape. And even hope has a shape of its own.
Four years ago our president invited us out of the dark shadow of fear and promised to return to us what we had lost as a country: Hope.
And we accepted this promise by voting for the first African American president in the history of our fine nation. We did this. Nosotros. For the promise of a better future for all of our children. Black, white, or brown.
This promise, we understood, was unabridged. Uncensored, like hope itself.
And in keeping our word, we carried him upon our bending shoulders into the White House. Because we saw in him reflected the full promise of hope.
And we believed in this promise made. And we have waited. Mothers and fathers waited. Eight hundred thousand of our children waited.
For this promise of hope. A promise, we trusted, would be unencumbered by the “sins” of our fathers. Such is the rich tradition of this great country. A question long ago resolved by our founding fathers: that the debts of the father would not be visited upon their children.
And we believed in this promise.
But three long years went by. And faith faltered when our parents, our grandfathers, and grandmothers were taken from us under the cover of night by men dressed in black hoods and Kevlar. Four hundred thousand of them. Sequestered without due process. Taken from their children to inaccessible prisons built on the ancestral lands of our cousins, the proud Tacoma people.
And at our dining tables we began to ask: Where is this hope? Where is this tender thing promised us?
And the very dreams of our children began to wither in the playgrounds of our schools.
And they asked: For what purpose? Why should we stay in school when powerful white men bend their wills to keep us out of the halls of our universities? Except as their custodians.
And we asked where have all the promise-keepers gone? What good is a promise not kept, a promise broken?
Then one grey Oregon morning, we heard words on the radio. Crackling and tentative at first. Transmitted across the great plains of the Dakotas. Along that endless basin where buffalo once roamed in innumerable, unknowable numbers. Along the wide and silent Columbia to the shores of the Pacific.
Our President. Electric. Speaking. To us. Speaking to our children. Speaking to our Dreamers.
Ordering the masked men in black Kevlar to stand down. Asking us as a nation not to confuse force with greatness.
Saying finally what should have been said many years ago. That this country, founded by immigrants, is a nation too great to make fear its policy. That it does not speak to the best of us when our nation’s policy becomes the prosecution of its children. That the true measure of a great nation, instead, is measured by how we treat and protect the most vulnerable amongst us: our children.
All of them. Whether white, black, or brown …
And we listened. To our president, promising to open the doors of our colleges and universities to ALL of our children. Returning to them a promise, a future, unabridged …
And on this grey Oregon morning, we could see finally, that hope has a color, a shape, a texture. Hope has a name.
Dedicated to all the DREAMERS.
Este artículo también está disponible en / This post is also available in: Spanish
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