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A Stony Actuality

A Short Video about personal experiences.

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“Police Killed At Least 223 Black Americans In The Year After Colin Kaepernick’s First Protest” (link)

“Democracy Dies in Darkness” (link)

Citizenship and Immigration.

There is a law which unifies people under the amendment that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof are citizens of the United States…” It seems as if the question has always been about who is and is not a legal citizen. People like Trump stress the importance of the legality of what has always been natural to the human species: immigration. This has brought more attention to the point of birth and naturalization. The claims of Obama not being a legitimate citizen and the emphasis on militarizing the southern border are examples of the attention this topic is receiving.

What is a citizen aside from an individual with a certain place of birth? A citizen is a person who is part of a society. Societies exist because people create social contracts whose purpose is to establish a set of values that allow the pursuit of happiness without infringing in that of others. Being a citizen is not about your age or your birthrights; it isn’t about how much you make, or the hours you work; it’s about the life you live and the people in it. We are all different. Whether it is where we live, our culture, the color of our skin. It is these differences we all possess that shape our nation.

In the end, a citizen is not defined by just being native to the land. For us it is someone who supports and defends the constitution. It is someone who stays informed about the issues at hand, a citizen participates in the democratic process, and follows the laws whether they are local, state, or federal. They respect the rights, opinions, and beliefs of others, and participate in their community. A citizen pays taxes and serves in a jury when called upon. A citizen is someone who treats this nation as a home. Someone who defends their country should the need arise.

Defending the country and the constitution is not limited to being in the military. There is a desperate need for people to work together and resolve the issues within our nation. Defending the country means standing up for what you believe is right. It means to speak up against people and laws that are unfair and unconstitutional. Defending the country is defending yourselves and members of your community from self harm, and violence, from hatred, and the disrespect of others.

Before looking at others, we must see ourselves for what we choose to be. How we identify, and what role this nation has as our home. (said by Fernando Fonseca, edited dialogue by Tito) “After I learned about the history of Native Americans, I became more interested in my Native Mexican Ancestors. As of today, and possibly forever, I feel proud that my ethnicity includes a tribe of Chichimec known as the Tecuexe. Knowing that I share blood with people who remain in this country, even if they are small number, gives me a sense of importance in being here. Although I have never taken a DNA test, I like to base my identity with where my ancestors came from. I would say that I am a Mexican overall but I always think about all the many European and Asian roots that whose generations run through my blood. I see myself and others as more than their family’s nationality. I choose to look at people for the culture and the life that they adopt, and also their individuality.

(Tito) Coming from another place in the world, with a different history. Having an ancestry and background that is not part of what tensions are in the United States: My biggest question right now is where I fit in all of this. I don’t know the answer to that yet, but I do know that I want to do good to others, and make a positive change.

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