Yesterday, I posted on the story of two Ecuadorean brothers who were brutally beaten in Brooklyn this past Sunday, as they walked arm-in-arm back to their apartment.
This story, already so painful, is made even moreso by the poignant and hopeful post at Long Island Wins, about the murder of Marcelo Lucero.
Lisa Votino-Tarrant, a Long Island resident and immigrant rights advocate, has posted a very personal and powerful reflection about Marcelo’s death, one month later. Her tone, at first despondent, eventually takes on a note of hopefulness, a belief that something good and positive will come of this.
Since the night of the candlelight vigil we have seen small groups of people meeting all over Long Island. They’re discussing race, how they can help, or just trying to get to know their neighbors better. We see organizations working together to help a community heal. We see adults educating each other about their cultures. We see children who look different holding hands.
Are things perfect? Is everyone singing Cumbaya? Of course not. But I have learned that I REALLY want to visit Ecuador (have you ever looked at pictures from there?!). I’ve learned to sit back and listen a little more….lot’s of people are just looking to be heard.
But do you want to know what the most important thing I have seen is? As I walked in Patchogue yesterday while attending a community celebration of Ecuador’s culture at the First Congregational Church on Main Street….people smiled at the people who walked by them instead of keeping their heads down. A rattled and wounded community, are again holding their head’s up, knowing in their hearts that this has changed them forever…..and it might even be for the better.
I leave you with one more thought. A friend of mine a few weeks ago sent me a quote that I have looked at every morning and I thought I would share it with you: “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: You don’t give up.” -Anne Lamott
The reflection really is quite powerful. I encourage everyone to read the full version at the Long Island Wins blog. And, despite the recent news and despite the poisonous environment that’s been created for immigrants in this country, I do believe that we have to cling to that stubborn hope. Not only that but we must all keep working to make that hope a reality.