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We Once had a Dream called Occupy Wall Street 4/28/13 #4
It gets hazy, the haze solidifying in that space between points of memory. I want to say that I started traveling New York City. That I started to mark off all the– must sees– of NYC. I didn’t. I had moved to NYC to live there, and figured that I’d see it as I proceeded to live. You know? I was in no hurry to see the Statue of Liberty, so much so, that I’ve yet to see it up close. I settled into Bedstuy, in my small room and proceeded to just walk around Brooklyn. I’d moved from a city of 60 thousand, which was in a state that was about 700 thousand people. New York, is pretty much everything you’ve heard NYC to be…
I spent those first few days walking to all the local Bodega’s, and searching for food spots near where I was staying. I knew nothing of where I was at, so started doing slow spins around the area. It was laundrymats and corner stores. It was sparkling Jewish groceries and take out Chinese restaurants that all sported the same menu.
I was in New York, like so many other people were in New York. I was overeducated, unattached, and had nothing to do but kickass. I laugh at that now, but look back recalling my anger after applying for over a hundred jobs…. “Could you imagine what I would have done for someone if they’d have hired me,” I’d say to my roomates. I don’t know if it was rejection, or cockiness, but I’d ramble on about how any place hiring me would have had an improvement. Maybe I was just pissed.
I’d also come to New York through layers of ancestral struggle. Maybe that’s the point of this post. I’m still uncertain of what I’m trying to say here. When I was in New York, I’d tell people I had my Masters in English. It was met with different sorts of acknowledgements, but very few big reactions. Maybe, it’s because I never told anyone what that meant to me, what it meant to me to achieve this sort of mile marker in society. Right now some reader somewhere is rolling their eyes and chucking at my inability to see how societal expectation was a created myth.
Well, the past for me was not a myth. The struggles of those who I identify with–is not myth. My mother’s recalling’s at white teachers scoffing at her for believing she’d go on to college–is not a myth. I carry those facts with me everywhere I go. The fact that the small city in Texas where I spent my childhood rose up to fight back against racism, against created blocks to my people’s advancement. The brown girls and boys beat in the streets during the Chicano movement,(current) are no myth. And maybe, the myth, or the naïve thought was that I viewed their struggle, and heartbreaks and successes their failures as my own. When I told people I had my masters in English, I was trying to tell people that all those unnamed folks in history fought for me to able to achieve that education. What I was trying to tell people was how my brother locked away in prison would write me and tell me how he was rooting for me and his Mexican friends were cheering for me….how I viewed myself as connected to all of it.
I’m getting to Occupy Wall Street, but I want you to know who’s telling you this story. And when I tell you I have a Master’s in English, I’m not telling you I’m educated, I’m telling you what point I’m at in a the long history struggle. I guess thats the point of view arrived at that July 22nd meeting to talk about the August 2nd debt default action.