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Latino Youth Feel Law Enforcement and Educators Don’t Care About Them

LatinaLista — It’s the day after  the election.

And as pundits and the media like to do, every minute factor contributing in some way to this election and what followed it, will be microscopically examined and re-examined until a bigger news story overshadows it.

See what happened when it was announced Rumsfeld was stepping down?

The Latino community will no doubt be part of that “after-election” examination.

But just because this election galvanized the community and sent more of us to the polls than would normally go, it’s no time to relish in our mild success.

The problems that the Latino community had before the elections still exist and may just be getting worse.

I was alerted to this today by a posting by “Anonymous.” It was in response to the posting about Justeen Mancha whose family, though they are legal, was subjected to a early morning raid by federal immigration officials at their Georgia home.

“Anonymous” (And as always is the case in cyberspace, we have to take a person’s word they are who they say they are) goes to the same high school as Justeen. We are assuming “Anonymous” is a student, and that makes what this person says all the more troubling.

I attend Tattnall County High School and so does Justeen Mancha. This situation sickens me!. They can wipe up all them tears b/c the government is going to be striking anyway. I’m from around the county I’ve had encounter with cops, and they honestly don’t give a fuck about the mexicans and if it was up to them..they’d take ’em all out.

It’s a natural response to try and soothe this person’s anger and say he/she is exaggerating until you read what else is coming out of Georgia.

Clayton County Schools officials are investigating claims that Forest Park High School Principal Delphia Young threatened to have misbehaving Hispanic students deported.

It is bad enough that young Latinos are being subjected to these experiences but it’s worse when we can see firsthand how the erosion of trust and respect for authority is spiralling downwards.

If towns and states continue with their anti-illegal immigration hysteria and create hostile atmospheres in their attempt to drive out undocumented immigrants, the ones who will suffer the most are the children.

Instead of talking about what happened during the elections, the Latino community needs to talk about safeguarding the children so that they are not subjected to the measures used to demean and demoralize the undocumented adults – who are these children’s parents, tios, primos, etc.

Latino students take part in a positive youth summit program.
(Source: Latino Youth Summit)

Children need authority figures in their lives and if they can’t turn towards their local law officers or their educators, and their parents are being publicly stripped of their dignity, then how can society expect these children to “follow the rules” of the land when all they’ve seen is abuse and humiliation?

Soon, if not already, too many young Latinos will feel like “Anonymous” — but just like we wanted Washington to hear the Latina voz, we have to hear the pain of our young people — and respond sooner rather than later.

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