Where are you from?

by Ken B.

“Were you born here? Are you documented? Where are you from?”

To look at me, you wouldn’t know if I was born here or somewhere else. You wouldn’t know what language I grew up speaking. You wouldn’t know if my parents were from Latin America, the Middle East, India/Pakistan, Central Asia, or some combination.

“Where are you from?”

I refuse to answer that question. That question is at the core of what we’re struggling against. That doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where I am from. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been here or what language I speak.

The real question is not “where are you from?” The real question is “Where are you?”

The answer is that I am here, with you. We’re in this together, whether you like it or not. We’re in this together and we need to work together because I am here with you. If we don’t work together then they will turn us against each other and split our organizations, break up our movements, bring down all of our wages, take away all of our civil liberties, and take away all of our civil rights.

But there is also another question.

“Where are you going?”

I am going to a place with a living wage. I am going to a place where everyone is in a union. I am going to a place with no more war. I am going to a place where health care and education are free. I am going to a place where Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered ,Queer and Intersexed people have the same rights as straights. I am going to a place where abortions are free and on demand for whatever reason a woman has. I am going to a place with no more racism, sexism or homophobia. I am going to a place with no more borders.

But to get there I need you and you need me, regardless of where I am from and where you’re from. Regardless of the color of our skin, the languages we speak or the places that we were born. Documented or undocumented, we are in this fight together.

This goes beyond your identity or mine. This goes beyond your personal struggle or mine. If we let them divide us then we let them bring down all of our wages and strike down all of our civil rights. That is why we need to march, protest, and resist together. That is why documented and undocumented have to march arm-in-arm. Just as men and Women, Gays and straights, all races and ethnicities. Regardless of where we are all from, we are all here together.

Where am I from? It doesn’t matter. Where am I? I am here, with you. Where am I going? I am going to a better world. But I can only get there with you and you can only get there with me. We need to put our differences aside. We need to stop them from pitting us against each other to conquer us both. We need unity and solidarity to fight for a better world.

A better world is possible, but we can only get there together: Solidarity!

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Anna Cantu says:

I was born in the U.S. like my parents and their parents. I am mexican american, chicana, hispanic, whatever you want to label me as. But my daughter-in-law was born in Mexico but raised here from a very young age she started school here and like everyone else she is stuck between a rock and a hard place as the saying goes. She graduated high school early is attending a community college hoping the dream act will happen one day. But we live in az with the “sheriff” and his “posse” they are getting ready to pass some bill where it will give them the right to ask anyone for proof of citizenship wether you are driving, walking to school, out shopping doesn’t matter if you can’t prove you are here legally they will arrest you and deport you! I am scared for her oh yeah if my son is stopped with her in his vehicle he will get charged with trafficking! This is going too far.

resveratrol says:

I found this blog while searching google. Pretty surprising too, since google usually shows relatively old results but this one is very recent! Anyway, very informative, especially since this is not something many people are able to write about. Take care…

Beautiful essay! I disagree with the abortion part of it, but I respect everyone’s point of view. Well done, it is very inspiring.