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Setting a place at the table to talk about race

LatinaLista — Thanksgiving has evolved far from the original intent of neighbor-getting-to-know-neighbor. Nowadays, the country is facing a surge in hate crimes and it’s time to set a new table to address the issue.
When it comes to celebrating Thanksgiving, everyone thinks it’s the holiday most closely observed in the same spirit as our forefathers —friends and family sitting at the same table sharing food and enjoying each other’s company.
Yet, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Since that first Thanksgiving, whether you believe it took place either in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621 or in St. Augustine, Florida in 1565, the holiday has evolved into one that is farther away from that original idyllic scene of pilgrims/ Spanish explorers breaking bread with Indians than reminiscent of it.
The idea behind Thanksgiving wasn’t to celebrate with family, since a lot of those first “immigrants” made the trip with only their immediate family members or solo, but to sit down with people who were their new, strange, and in many cases, unknown neighbors — and get to know them.
In that respect, we’ve drifted away from the original intent of the holiday to the point where we are facing yet another emerging crisis in this country — an increase in hate crimes.
Since Barack Obama’s presidential win, there has been an increase in reports of physical assaults, racially motivated graffiti and verbal harassment on people of color.
The most infamous case so far, since the election, has been the Long Island murder of Marcelo Lucero. Lucero was an Ecuadorian immigrant murdered by a gang of kids who were specifically looking to beat up someone who looked Latino.
The shock goes beyond putting words to the horrific crime but it’s not an isolated event when it comes to preying on people of color.
Continue reading Setting a place at the table to talk about race


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