This is a guest post by Daniel Cubias, who blogs at The Hispanic Fanatic, where this post first appeared. Cubias also writes a column for the Huffington Post, and he writes of the Hispanic Fanatic, who may or may not be an alter-ego, that he "has an IQ of 380, the strength of twelve men, and can change the seasons just by waving his hand. . . . the Hispanic Fanatic is a Latino male in his late thirties. He lives in California, where he works as a business writer. He was raised in the Midwest, but he has also lived in New York."
I want to thank Chris, Rose, and Ankhesen Mie for their recent comments, as well as everyone who responded to my most recent article for the Huffington Post. The 160 or so comments I got on HuffPo are the most I’ve received for one article. And only a few people there were nuts and/or unruly.
That post, of course, was about the shooting death of a teenager, which clearly is a depressing topic. So these days, I’m looking for a sliver of optimism out there. I may have found it.
Now, I’ve written before that I’m a fan of PostSecret. This is despite the fact that too many of the secrets are actually just sappy affirmations. And I also think it’s odd that the creator of the site includes at least one image of a female breast in every week’s batch (that’s not a criticism; just an observation).
In any case, PostSecret may have achieved a goal that all we bloggers have, which is to save a life. This accomplishment has, for some reason, eluded me on this site.
But PostSecret may have done it. A few weeks ago, the site ran the following:
Yes, for some inexplicable reason, the illegal immigrant who made this card feels that Americans would be happier if he just dropped dead. I don’t know where he got that idea. . . unless it was the nonstop barrage of right-wing media outlets blaming the undocumented for everything from the economic collapse to imaginary crime waves, with rage-filled commentary that implied individuals without papers are less than human.
But really, I’m sure that had nothing to do with it.
So did the illegal immigrant jump to his or her death? No one knows.
With hope, however, this person saw the response that the secret provoked, and maybe this changed his or her mind.
“Time” magazine reports that, because of the postcard, “within 24 hours, nearly 20,000 people had signed up for a Facebook group titled ‘Please don’t jump,’ which was . . . linking in thousands of supportive comments.”
PostSecret adds that in the week since the secret was posted, “over 50,000 of you joined an online community offering encouragement and help” and that earlier this week, “hundreds are meeting on the Golden Gate Bridge to take a stand against suicide.”
I have to admit that this is quite a showing of support for one scared illegal immigrant. The outcome serves as a much-needed antidote to the hateful comments about the shooting death of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca (again, see my previous post).
Does this mean that there is still a kernel of compassion left in the increasingly jingoistic American soul? Is it possible that many people see the undocumented as fully human rather than as pests to be exterminated?
Well, that would be nice, wouldn’t it?