“Be quiet, get under the table, don’t breath too loud, I heard the gun shot”
Words I heard as a 13 year old girl in middle school as I was a victim of gun violence over twenty years ago. Words you hear during a school shooting that took place here in Deming NM. The shooting that took the life of a young girl who was simply walking to class.
Same feelings, thoughts ran through my head on Sunday morning as social media started releasing the news of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas. This same city that I lived in for four months nursing our premature baby back to health in the NICU. The city that took us in during our biggest trial in our lives. The city that loved us and I felt comforted by the nurses who spoke to me as Spanish and called me “Mija” and I cried in distress on long and lonely days.
Seeing images of people running, blood running down their body and worried faces of families.
I know their feeling. The feeling of hopelessness and fear of the unknown. I know the feeling of wondering who got shot or trying to reunite with my family after fearing for my life.
Once news started reporting the tactics of it all and racism being the driving factor. Turned my feeling to rage and anger. Upset at the fact that I’m living in a country that hates me for the color of my skin. The country that is supposed to be a melting pot, tossed salad where all cultures are accepted and loved. Thoughts of “that could of been me, or my family” because of the color of my skin. How has this come back? How has racism been accepted..again? This is something I used to read about in history class in high school.
Something that had really made me grasp it all in and make me proud of my people is the adversity of coming together during the difficult times of life. This is the Mexican culture. The culture of familia and standing together.” You can hurt us but you can’t break us”. Brings me back to my abuelitos Casita that my grandpa made out of Adobe…the house may not be the nicest on their block but it’s the only home that withstood a huge rainstorm years back. I asked my grandpa, “why was your home the only one that didn’t leak” and his response was “because Mija I made this house with pride, tears, sweat and love”.
We won’t be broken, we won’t be separated, we will be stand strong. I have to believe this for my children and for all my family that has been torn down by racism and segregation. ♥️
– Crystal Milo-Gonzales
NM CAFé Leader