You can see them. They are everywhere and more visible, without the intention of hiding. They are more evident – and would like to be even more so – as the days have passed since January 20, when power changed hands in this country.
You can see them in the stores while shopping, always watching you with a contempt that is no longer light, but direct and forceful; your color, however light or dark you may be, it silences you.
You also see them with that same attitude at the post office, at other public offices, at the movies, at the queue to pay, in an airport while you wait for your flight and speak with your family in your native language.
You also see them appear in schools, in the bank, in the train, in the subway, in the street, in a restaurant or even in town hall meetings.
It does not matter where you see them: their common denominator is that they are always waiting for the slightest opportunity – from your first carelessness, from your infallible “error” – to verbally or physically show you their accumulated hatred.
History, it seems, did not teach them anything. Their new teacher guides them, shelters them, gives them what they want. Apparently.
It is not a matter of justice, but of privilege: in their space, they do not want to see anyone who does not resemble them. But what similarity do they seek by supporting forced expulsion, the denial of a hard-won space, the harassment of the Other that is also their own human mirror?
Almost every day or week, media – in both Spanish and English — releases videos or news reports with another incident of hatred in which the victim always turns out to be a person of color.
In recent news, in Huntington Park, Calif., 12-year-old, Joseph Moreno, was admonished at the end of a speech on behalf of immigrants that he presented to members of his city council.
The grown man who angrily criticized Moreno, did not expect the 12-year-old to respond in a tolerant and intelligent manner; the “adult” man went on to insult the young man saying that “he [Moreno] had been brainwashed” and “he had no ideas.”
There are plenty of questions as to what is happening in the 21st century that held promise for human rights, supposedly thanks to the technology that would “unite us even more.” But now we are experiencing a new model of racism that is spreading and becoming more dangerous in the United States.
Every act of racial violence moves the nation further away from its’ principles.
Yes, you can see them too.
By David Torres
David Torres is a Spanish-language Advisor at America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund.