Sometimes when you speak up, things happen in a positive way. We should never forget that, or allow the voices of negativity to stop us from speaking truth to power. Alex Fierro is ten years old. Affected by the lyrics of a racist song being taught in his school, he spoke up about his feelings. Maybe his innocence helped to strengthen his resolve to speak up to his mom about what was happening in school, but she also acted immediately and appropriately, with little fear (or probably a whole lot: fear of repercussions, fear for her son’s well being, fear for her tribe…). Alex’s innocence, his hurt, spurred her. It spurred the tribe elders. It spurred the school. Alex’s dismay came from a place of truth, and one should never be afraid to speak from that place. Thankfully, Alex hadn’t gotten old enough, or beaten under enough by the dominant culture to silence him.
When I read stories like this, I am warmed and energized. Stories like Alex’s teach me, as an adult activist, that you can make a difference, just you, one little person in a sea of persons all swimming with the current. Rock on Alex. I hope that the reverberations of your efforts will be felt nationwide. It is time.