Too Poor To Exist, To Brown to Matter

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

The wailing of a child in hunger, the silent weeps of utter hopelessness coming from the bosom of its protector, weak and frail herself, wordlessly pleading in desperation, not for herself, but for her starving child.

TOO POOR TO EXIST, TOO BROWN TO MATTER

By Al Garcia

The wailing of a child in hunger, the silent weeps of utter hopelessness coming from the bosom of its protector, weak and frail herself, wordlessly pleading in desperation, not for herself, but for her starving child. 

There is an inborne trait in man to protect and shield the weakest, the frailest and most innocent among us – the children.  To see a child suffer for any reason anywhere can break a human heart.  To see a child die simply because it was too poor to live, defies the decency of man.  Even in the wild, nature has bestowed upon the beast of every kind the instinct to protect and shield its young.  So why have we, the human race, become immune?

Across my river that stretches beyond the borders of my lush and wonderous Rio Grande Valley, there exists a world unlike my own.  A place where hunger, pain and discontent flourish like the wild bluebonnets that bloom and thrive along the fields and roadsides that define and isolate me from the darkness and despondency that life can tender.  Had nature placed the river further up along the valley’s fields and hills, I might have found myself without the hope and dreams and purpose now bestowed on me, simply because I live this side of paradise.

And growing up I saw the children brought across the flowing waters of the Rio Grande.  Little brown children, wide-eyed with wonderment and awe at the sights and sounds of a land beyond their imagination much less their understanding.  And I watched, and I wondered, what made them different than me, because you see, I was also a child, and also brown.

The difference I eventually found out, was that the USofA had certified me.  I had been stamped like a piece of prime beef with the federal stamp of approval – I had been born in the USofA.  That was the only difference.  Other than that, the children that I saw in the cotton fields picking cotton alongside their parents, hauling heavy bags behind them, sweating and struggling like beasts of burden, were just like me.  The only difference was that they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time and were too poor and too brown to matter.

Yet America used them and abused them.  They were our trained beasts of burden.  These were the children too poor to exist and too brown to matter. 

And I saw it, and I turned my head like all the rest, simply because I was a lighter shade of brown and born in the USofA.

And I returned to being child, playing childish games, and thinking myself better than my fellow man, simply because I was born on the right side of a river.


Submitted: May 22, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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Comments

moa rider

There are many reasons for what you describe Al, and no excuses that stand up. Usianguke

Sun, May 23rd, 2021 12:06am

Author
Reply

I was brought up in a very loving family. We were poor, but our parents taught us what counts the most -- respect, courtesy, compassion. They worked and struggled their entire lives to give us a bit of their dreams. They instilled in us a passion for learning, and nurtured our imaginations. Today we are fulfilling and living their dreams.

I was afraid no one would read this because of its length. So, thank you for taking your time to see a bit of my life growing up along the Rio Grande, way back then . . .

Sat, May 22nd, 2021 5:34pm

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