Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 161-Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca

Dear Mr. President,

Usually when I'm reading about murdered teenagers suspected of stone-throwing activity, it's a news story out of Palestine. The disgust that grips me is no different, when it happens here at home. I am heartbroken over the death of 15-year old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, and there are no excuses for his murder that will make the action pardonable. His family is owed an apology by the American government and the agent involved. This boy was gunned down in cold blood. Mistakes, even tragic, fatal mistakes, happen, but we must be forthright and sincere in our apologies for this unforgivable incident or all Americans will bear the responsibility for the boys death.

I hesitated to tell my roommate about this. I saw how she took the news of the Arizona immigration legislation, or of the mural in Prescott and she herself has been the target of anti-hispanic racism; my sisterly affection for her inclines me to protect her from hearing about these stories. She has young brothers, and I don't know if she saw their faces when she heard of this boy's death, but I cannot fathom the fear that must follow such clear evidence that people who look like her brothers are now fair game for her own country's border patrol. They're treating Mexicans like vermin these days, she said. I didn't know what to say, to try and make it better.

I understand the need for a secure border, or at least the illusion of one, but Mr. President, this is too high a price for me to pay for a false sense of safety. There is nothing I value enough to think worth the murder of unarmed children, of any nationality, in any place, for any reason. Please, do not allow this tragedy to be spun in order to justify the unpardonable actions of the agent. Do not try to sell us on the necessity of this action. It would be nothing short of a betrayal of the trust I and millions of others have in your administration to protect our values. Please, Mr. President, apologize for this mistake, condemn this as a crime and make it clear that this kind of conduct will never be acceptable in the name of the American people.

Respectfully yours,


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