By Ricky Guzman

Gangster America 2014 (2)I am a proud Mexican American and Chicano striving for true righteousness. The persistent struggle within the interior is very real, always being criminally surveilled through legal means. Having to enter public spaces where you know that they are looking at your movements. Having to self-monitor in every social scenario is not fun, as the next CVS Pharmacy manager thinks you are going to steal a 30-pack of beer when really you are just looking at the snacks section. Even the slightest indication of your “Mexicaness” or “Black Soulness” suspects a criminal identity, a terrorist, a low-down thug. Having to consciously deal with this double identity on a daily basis can be grueling. But what can we do, for any attempt to bring social progress is faltered by our own “legal” system. We are viewed as criminals trying to take advantage of an “unfair” system. How does that even make sense?

The core fails to realize that even 50 years after the Civil Rights Movement took place, we still push for only basic civil liberties. It was not without struggle and a push for peaceful protest that left these courageous civil rights leaders 10 feet under, murdered by the majority as history tends to repeat itself. A system that reproduces itself is extremely dangerous; being a slave is normal to us. The structure is just further strengthened. Civil rights issues become a notion of disease as people of color are made out to be culprits, perpetrators, and criminals.

We fail to realize that America is the global “gangster” with “Dickies”, a pair of long socks, and Nike Cortez repeatedly robbing the people at the periphery, the margins of society, of their resources but at the same time making our nation even stronger. Settler colonialism has permeated our atomic being, our state-sanctioned social ego, and our architecture. The White majority is protected by legal police power. Black and Brown are defined as evil animals while White represents humanity. Legal police brutality causes great distrust and reinforces complacency. We ask for equal representation on the national, political level as well as the local level politics and police power. Having to always confront the White officer and pretend like everything is okay when internally we know that KKK police power was lynching “negroes” not even 60 years ago. We know America’s true history but we remain complacent to the oppression. A truly equal country encompasses all, not excludes the diversity within. “Minorities” have been in America longer than the white majority population, but the system continues to exploit them as the outsiders and trespassers. Unconscious racism is what describes our Post-modern condition, where true meaning has been lost for a reason.

The struggle for justice is real… C’mon America, wake up.