What follows are seven news stories, all from different places and times. Some happened only weeks ago … some years. Some are well known … others obscure. But a common thread runs through them all.
From Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez dying from a lack of water, to Francisco Castaneda of neglect and cancer, to Luz Dominguez losing a job for having the audacity to ask for fair wages and treatment, to Adriana Torres-Flores left in a holding cell for days without food and water… they share a common thread that binds them.
They are part of the silent and forgotten, living in the shadows, unprotected by laws and regulations most take for granted. It matters not if they toiled in fields to put food on our tables, supplied the weapons of war, or cleaned the rooms we sleep in. Nor does it matter if they ran afoul of the law … they share a common thread that binds them.
They are the other.
They are those who go unseen even in the light of day.
We don’t want to know their names or their stories. We don’t want to hear of their suffering, or know about their dreams and aspirations. We don’t want to have to look them in the eye and see their humanity.
Because if we did for only just one moment, then we might be forced to see not only them …but us …for what we really are.
So hide your eyes, walk quickly as you pass. Don’t acknowledge their presence.
Don’t look at the mother holding her child and see the love between them. Don’t admire the workers, laboring to supply the goods and services on which you rely, for their industriousness. Don’t stop for a moment to smile or even nod a quick hello.
Because if you did, for only just one a moment, you might be forced to see …. the common thread that binds us.