In those days people awoke not thinking about the state of global affairs. They woke up to thinking about their family, their job, their significant other, their own little world. The sun shone brightly, the moon and the stars at night also. They never gave thought to their mortality or to the possibility of illness or disease. And they certainly never thought about the time when their parents would be aging and weak- and then gone. That was all just too far away and vague to even imagine.
Life was good, and when it wasn't, there was always the hope of a better tomorrow. In those days people still waved hello and often stopped to chat on your stoop or fence. That was just how people communicated and stayed in touch. The only real sadness felt was when you heard the stories of your Grandparents' or other family members' trek to this country for the American dream. You knew they had suffered greatly so their children could have a better life. But the sadness was momentary, because this was now, and the sky was the limit to what you could accomplish in this great country. Their suffereing had long been over and had been the means to the present utopia. And you went on living and believing that things would never change.
After all, things could only get better. The Civil Rights movement had surely secured a future free from the cruelty of racism and hatred, the economy was booming, there was a chicken in every pot, and even the certainty that an education would take you far in life. In essence education became the new goal, the new American dream. After all, it was said that knowledge was power. We all wanted that.
And then a funny thing happened. People became so drunk with the power of their own knowledge, that they came to believe that they knew everything. So they held council with each other and decided that henceforth, the ignorant and uneducated were the cause of any and all problems in society. Now wouldn't you know it, but as it turned out, about the only people left who were classified as ignorant and uneducated were those quiet brown skinned people who quietly toiled away doing a myriad of jobs, mostly hard labor- work not fit for the educated- and who rarely participated in civic affairs. And so it was that the 'final solution' was wrought about. Legislation was created in the halls of government to eradicate these undesirables. Their proposals even sought to remove the memory of the culture of those brown skinned people from schools and books. Sound familiar?
In their own minds, this was all perfectly normal, just the way government did business. After all, government is for the people and by the people. Is that not how the famous phrase goes? Which begs the question, where were the voices of the politicos who themselves were descendants of the Indigenous people? I would like to think their vote and their voice also counted. A real mystery and perplexity in my mind, I dare say.
There are so many unanswered questions. We may never find the answers. But just as there is power in knowledge, there is also power in numbers. Can you just imagine the power of the sheer volume of Latinos in this country? Houston, I think we have a problem....