When I was told I would be blogging as part of my duties as the newest reporter for Vida en el Valle, a million topic ideas twirled around my mind. What topics would I discuss in these blogs and how would they engage readers? I guess I’ll start with this…
Recently, I attended a funeral reception paying tribute to the civil rights activist, the late Maestro, Ernesto Martinez. A guest speaker, Dr. Victor Torres, director and professor in the Chicano and Latin American Studies Department at Fresno State quoted Che Guevara in his speech:
“I don’t care if I fall as long as someone else picks up my gun and keeps on shooting.”
Without trying to take Guevara’s quote out of context, I thought about two things- Latino’s who were part of the Chicano Latino movement (like Martinez) and Latino’s today who are following the footsteps of these leaders who created ‘change’- the kind that influenced, invigorated and inspired future Latino leaders. Specifically those who decided to arm themselves with the necessary learning, training or education to continue pushing forth the changes they wished to see in their communities.
Today, there are many Latino leaders- at least one in every area of civic life ranging from government, medicine, business, labor, etc. At Latino held conventions, conferences or mixers, there is talk about ways to empower the community. The same is done in Latino based organizations. Solutions are offered and discussed, but far too often, they are not executed. Why?
I see this trend among young Latino leaders that are emerging and growing at a fierce pace compared to older generations. Despite their numbers, motivation and enthusiasm to create change in our communities, something is lacking.
I can’t help but wonder why Guevara’s quote resonated with me so profoundly…I am compelled to make an analogy:
It’s almost as if Latinos are carrying a loaded gun; we know its purpose and potential, yet we refuse to ‘shoot.’ The intention is there, hence the dedication and hard work we have placed in our jobs, careers, education, families…but why stop there? How can these achievements, once discussed, move us forward?
I realize that many Chicano Latino movement trailblazers who are alive today continue to ‘shoot’. They are relentless in their commitment and passion for change. Why can’t the younger generation pick up that gun and do the same? I don’t understand the hesitation.
As your new reporter, my hope is that through my blogs, I can pick up the gun and ‘shoot’. I don’t expect to become a future Chicano Latino activist, (our predecessors have left big shoes for us to fill) but I do expect to start a following…of readers, that is. I hope that I can enlighten you with a wide range of topics, not just Latino- but certainly more Latino. Perhaps the endeavor is a challenge, but one I am willing to take. I am excited for the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas, but I also welcome the discussions…