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21 March 2009

"Stray Dog"

". . . There comes a time when the endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable patience."
– Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”

He might as well been a stray dog lying on the side of the road with an open gash with entrails exposed with no name with no one to call and no one to claim. He might as well been a stray dog without a nametag because no one even knew his name. Black man worries about the owner's son, the manager, who is currently upstairs. They insist that only his friends help when strangers attempt to help. This black security forgets he has just dropped this little Mexican man's head on the metal bar stool's foot. White boy comes down and lets me know I have no say. "This has already been taken care of. This is none of your business! Stay out of it!" is his response in my face as he turns his back on me. They forget there are more Mexican people around and see the evidence carried out in the rain by other Mexicans—refuse to call 911. One altercation after another mixed with rancor and humiliation. What shall I do when I am wearing high heels, bleeding red lipstick and brown for skin? Because now, they have turned a constructed femininity against me. The owner's son says I have a reputation for causing trouble at this place. He does not even know my name! The officer replies, "What ever you two have going on, should stay out." How is this so, I ask myself, "Did not Frederick Douglass side with women in the suffrage movement?" A century later, I am full of emptiness of anger of distress. Are my words inaudible? At the scene, the police officer, also a white man reminds these two victims of racism that this man could lose his life. Blood slowly oozes from his mouth. Clinically unconscious and must be flown away in emergency life flight.

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