This was the day I became a very proud citizen of the United States of America. September 28, 1996. It is like my date of birth. I never will forget it. Sometimes I wonder if all Americans being born here shouldn’t go through a ceremony at 18 years of age, like the one I did when I took my oath. It makes you realize that there are responsibilities and obligations when you say “I am a citizen of the United States of America.”
After 35 years of being a Permanent Resident “green card holder,” my daughter one day said to me, “mami you are such an activist, you get involved in some much stuff, and it is a pity that when it comes to make your voice count, you cannot do it. She was right, I couldn’t vote. I really thought very hard on that one. I thought, this is my home, this is where I have made my dreams come true, I have been blessed so many times by the people of this country, with their generosity by allowing me to come as a guest and work, have an incredible life, be respected and most important of all, enjoy my freedom! Remember that I grew up in the Dominican Republic under a dictatorship. So freedom was and will always be of utmost importance to me.
Now going back to how does an activist look like. There are no gender, age, skinny, heavy, short, tall barriers. It looks like you and me. I have to admit I have been too complacent recently, because sometimes I feel that it really does not matter my input into the system, because “they” are going to do what they want to do anyway. But today I was watching a video on Face about protesting. It made cry at first, and then it woke me up to the fact that “We are the People.” We are our country. I promised to myself right there and then that I am going to go back and get actively involved in a cause that I deem very important to me and that will affect the collective as a whole.
I have always been an activist. It got me into a lot of controversy sometimes. I believe in liberty and justice for all. I guess that by being a participant in the outcome of issues that affect us all, is the least we can do to fulfill our duty as citizens of this great country. No excuses apply.
Let’s rock the boat! Let’s get involved again!
Your Happy Contessa
P.S. I just downloaded the song “Wake Up Everybody” by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes. It’ll get you going. I promise.