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Category Archives: Letters

Dear Governor Brewer,

Carl Sagan, famed American astronomer, cosmologist and author, wrote a captivating and spellbinding book in 1994 titled Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. The prevailing incentive to title his book Pale Blue Dot, derived from the hypnotic image of planet Earth taken in 1990 by Voyager 1. In it, Earth found itself entirely indistinguishable as it lay, resting against the immense vastness of space, graphed upon an endless canvas of darkness, represented only through a beam of light but, as Sagan commented, “it’s just an accident of geometry and optics.” The paltriness of which Earth reflects from this point, begs one to wonder and question the fervent mentality that underlies our decision making.

One of the most intriguing and to be honest, one of my favorite quotes in this book, is the following:

From this vantage point, our obsession with nationalisms is nowhere in evidence. We are too small. On the scale of worlds, humans are inconsequential: a thin film of life on an obscure and solitary lump of rock and metal.”

Long before I read this and many other works of literature, before my eyes and mind were hastily exposed to the true nature of the human being, I came to terms with my surroundings. I realized there are certain aspects of civilization that cannot be altered, despite the growing cries and murmurs that make an attempt make a change for the better. Perhaps due to this often bitter atmosphere, this feeble social order void of any discernable justice on every corner of the globe, I gradually became more reserved: muted and unwilling to express my opinions. Like any being who finds oneself adrift on the roads of existence, I try to find solace in people. Perhaps, hoping to be proven wrong, realize it’s not mostly black and less white, but rather a light shade of eggshell white, tainted only here, and there.

yax Take Mr. Hugo Alfredo Tale-Yax’s actions for example. A crowning display of pure courage and to some extend, integrity, emerged from this man. Through and because of the shortcomings and underprivileged conditions of his home town, Mr. Tale-Yax ended up homeless on the streets of New York. Hoping to somehow find his chance at a better life, he fought day by day, struggling but ultimately, failed. Yet, his humility and sense of honor never left him.

A woman walking home at the beginning hours of dawn, was attacked from behind by an, as of yet, unknown assailant. Mr. Tale-Yax knew nothing about the so-called “bystander effect”. He saw the world quite different from the rest of us. Armed with nothing, he proceeded to do what nearly all of us would fail to even consider: he intervened and saved the woman from the knife-wielding assailant. Unfortunately for this innocent, yet brave soul, his time upon the soil of this earth ended unexpectedly as he was mortally wounded.

When events like this occur rarely in our lives, those are the moments I remind myself that maybe, just maybe, there is hope for humanity.

What happened next to Mr. Yale-Tax, unfortunately, pours down on me like a cold bucket of water, reminding me that such illusions for a better, more harmonic tomorrow are completely, unequivocally far away from us. In the state where John Lennon proclaimed his ideology of people standing as one, sharing the world, Mr. Tale-Yax fell on the cold pavement, bleeding and breathing his last breath of life as people, other human beings, with absolutely nothing that made them any better than Mr. Tale-Yax, simply passed by him, ignoring, choosing not intervene. One man even came to the point where he nonchalantly took out his cell phone, snapped a picture of the dying man, and walked away. Nearly 50 years after the infamous 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese, nothing has change. John Lennon was a dreamer.

4422977843_b9c0cfd91e I’ve been following, Mrs. Brewer, the recent movements in your state of Arizona to effectively execute SB1070. I understand that to you, Governor Brewer, I am no one. Which to some degree, is true. I hold no political position that grants me the privilege to speak to you. Quite frankly, I don’t have the stomach for the political world. I hold no award for greatest achievements, I am not renown in any field. I’m just me.

For the sake of this letter, say I was able to ask you a few questions. I’d start with a simple why?

I’d like an honest answer. Not a political. An honest one. Hispanics, which is what this law is targeting, seem to do the jobs no American wants. Say, Governor Brewer, you weren’t a governor. What if you hadn’t been privileged of having the education you had, the opportunities you were given, and the people you met that fundamentally helped you reached the place you now hold? What if you had nothing? Would you pick fruits? The same fruits you now have your maid pick up at the grocery store? Would you wash the Mercedes-Benzs, the BMWs, or any other car that would drive by a car wash? Would you submit yourself to cleaning car after car as the sun beamed down on you, sweat dripping down your forehead as you ache to rest but you couldn’t stop? Would you mop floors and clean toilets where men and women with higher positions sit down? Would you submit yourself to cleaning a floor, using chemicals with absolutely no protection, taking in the stomach-wrenching ammonia as you prepared to mop the floor? Would you flip burgers and dip fries into the oil for a living?

For minimum wage?


Would you wash dish after dish while men and women simply order outside the kitchen door, blinded to the fact you’ve been standing over that sink for hours resulting in your feet and calves burning, joints aching for rest of the day and night? Would you deliver the newspaper, 365 days a year, with no day off, carrying the Sunday, brick-like edition papers over your shoulders as you run door by door, delivering the paper so hours later, some person wakes up, serves themselves a cup of coffee and simply reads? Imagine that person sitting at their desk, reading while you ache to rest, having been up since midnight, preparing the paper to they could flip through the sections, but you can’t rest. Second job awaits you.


Would you do any of these jobs for six, seven, eight, nine, even ten dollars an hour?

No American, especially a Caucasian American would do it for that wage. At least not for a living. A teenager might, but then again, college awaits so it’s only for the summer. The fictional, “Immigrants are taking the jobs from Americans” statement doesn’t hold it’s ground. It never did.

What if you were Hispanic? What if you had an accent? What if you were driving a beat up old station wagon and you were pulled over? What if the first question the came out of that officer’s mouth was, “Are you illegal?”

How can one be illegal, by the way?

Have you ever asked yourself those questions, Governor Brewer? What if? Have you ever walked into a room and had all eyes on you, staring you down with such disdain simply because your skin was darker and your accent was still lingering? Yet, ache to have people get to know you before their judgments over you had already taken place?

Of course you haven’t. Being Hispanic is not a crime. Never was and shouldn’t be. Imagine you were Guatemalan or Honduran and you knew deep inside your mind and your heart that you needed to get to the freedom land that is the United States if you even had a chance to survive in this world. How would you get over here? What’s the right way, Governor Brewer?

With visas and permission and whatnot, correct?

images Whenever I hear someone like Tancredo claim “these” illegal immigrants should have done it the right and proper way, I scoff somewhere inside of me.

First of all, you can’t get visas simply because you want to move here. You have to have some type of skill, something you can offer to this country. Wanting a better life, hoping to find a better job isn’t enough. If you were born somewhere else, underprivileged, with no proper education, simply wanting to work, then by all means you are profoundly embedded to that dreadful territory you’re agonizing to leave behind.

How did the United States get formed in the first place? If I remember correctly, a plethora of foreigners boarded ships and landed on East Coast, from what is now Ellis Island, all the way down the coast. That’s all you had to do. Board a ship. No skill to prove, nothing. Simply the desire to have a better life. Every single one of us descent from an immigrant. Except for the Native Americans, we don’t belong here. It wasn’t until the Chinese Exclusion Act that the United States started restricting who was allowed and who wasn’t. East Asians and Asian Indians were not even allowed in 1924 due to the Immigration Act of that same year. What amazes me is the fact that no one seems to remember that some of the law’s strongest supporters were influenced by a book titled The Passing of the Great Race, written by an eugenicist and strong advocate of the racial hygiene theory.

What makes us superior to anyone else, granting us such power to decide who can have a chance at something exceptional and more desirable, and who may not? In every sense of word, this law is ultimately designed to harass individuals of Hispanic descent. State Senator Russell Pearce himself said, and I quote, “When you make life difficult, most will leave on their own.”


Has he ever asked himself what if he was Hispanic? Of course not.

I completely doubt I will ever understand the fervent hatred and compelling and utter disdain some humans can have for one another. Why, Governor Brewer, didn’t you veto the bill? Why do you support men like Joe Arpaio? Is there no shred of humanity, humility and compassion somewhere deep inside your soul? It surprises me that you, Governor Brewer, being a religious being failed to stand against this proposition. You, of all people who claim to believe in God, should have raised your hand and question the validity of this bill, both under the name of God and the Constitution. Isn’t the following quote in the bible?

Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

I’m reminded how religious pundits came to this land when it was first discovered, with bibles under their arms, claiming Native Americans needed to be civilized, burning towns and parading the heads of the fallen ones. All in the name of the powerful, celestial being. It is evident we, as humans cannot abstain ourselves from committing such atrocious acts against one another.

Maybe you do have some compassion, Governor Brewer, and I’m simply failing to see it. But it seems your political ambitions are far stronger than any sense of morality you might possess. Your support for this bill is, at the end of the day, a political move to reassure your governmental position until 2015. Your desire to hold office doesn’t succumb to the realization that your state law is quite frankly, too much alike to the racial profiling we had under the Jim Crow Laws, Japanese-American internment camps and all the other acts we have imposed on one another.

Instead of having US companies that are based in Latin and South America pay descent wages so that their workers have no NEED to leave, we harass them when they are here “illegally” but only after they have picked up our fruits, washed our cars, clean our dishes, mowed our lawns and clean our toilets.


I reiterate, John Lennon was a dreamer. And so am I.