Tags: Juan

Posted on February 20, 2010 by juan | Post a comment

From Nahunta, GA



Sometimes I wish I could go up to a member of the Ku Klux Klan and ask them, “if I were able to promise you that Bogota is a city in western Idaho, would you hate me just a little bit less? Would you see me as any more of a human being?” The entire concept of “nationality” seems so strange to me sometimes. Who in this world has NEVER moved anywhere? Whether it be to live in a larger home, for job opportunities, for safety, for better weather… etc. What makes your family’s migration from Pennsylvania to Florida any more “legal” than my family’s migration from Colombia to here? The purpose here isn’t to start an endless debate about policy, but rather to get us to really think about the human difference in one family trying to make a better living for those they love versus another in another region of the world.  Yesterday, a gentleman who “owned the land” where we stopped to rest briefly off the side of a highway said to us, “I find it extremely disrespectful that you would think its appropriate to just sit here on another man’s land without their consent.” All of this seemed so foreign and hipocritical to me. I wish someone would have said that to Christopher Columbus. Seriously, when did it become illegal to stop and take a breath? At what point did we give people the right to shoot someone if they touch your patch of grass? It doesn’t make sense to me.

Today we drove to Nahunta, GA where the Ku Klux Klan was organizing an anti-immigrant demostration, under the premise that “God put each race in their respective continent and they were meant to stay there. “ I can’t help but keep being amused by these concepts that the very organization can’t seem to be able to uphold appropriately. Is the KKK secretly on a campaign to reclaim all lands back for the indigenous people of North America and preparing for the voyage back to Europe? I find this highly unlikely.

It is disappointing that after so many years of social reformation, we still have organizations filled with so much hate convening and gaining the support of communities. When will people actually listen to BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY. I was there too! Hello!? Anybody willing to listen to MY story? I promise I won’t try to convince you of something as obviously absurd as “immigrants are the cause of unemployment and global warming.” How did we do that? With Jalapeño peppers? I’m very confused about this.

Ultimately, the success of today was to be able to stand hand in hand with our friends from the NAACP; singing liberation songs together and acknowledging our united struggle for racial justice. We ALL deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We all deserve to be acknowledged for our humanity.

Leave a comment:


Posted by: Celenda Perry on Feb. 21, 2010, 11:59 a.m.

Thank you for being there. What you are doing is courageous and selfless. I support you in your journey.

Posted by: Marty Bennett on Feb. 23, 2010, 7 a.m.

Looking at the picture of the KKK brings tears to my eyes. I am embarrassed to live in a country where they are still around. I am SO proud of all of you and I continue to be in complete awe of your courage and commitment to this fight for human rights. May God continue to bless your hearts and give you strength to keep walking. I am so proud to call you my friends.

Posted by: Vanella Wrye on Feb. 23, 2010, 9:15 a.m.

I can feel my blood boiling inside my veins. There isn’t just a need of action, there is an urge for a revolution in the way that immigrants are seen, judged and treated. Opportunities are not being taken away from us; they just have never been given! The "doors" that are being "closed" were never fully opened to us; there are just new locks - stronger e more severe - in order to "keep America safe". We want America to be safe! There is why we have been fighting for centuries. But it is time to make it happen. WE WANT IT ALL - NOW! No buts, no maybes, no more “next time”. The time is now and we want it all. We all need to support this cause, because this is just one of the many battles that we still have to win. All nations together. Americans, Brazilians, Mexicans, Indians. Let's solidly hold hands for an equal world where women, students, African Americans, homeless, orphans, immigrants, poor - all the called "minorities" that urge for changes, must act now. This is the class of the braves that stud up for changes. Martin Luther King Jr. - Present!

Posted by: russell Jauregui on Feb. 23, 2010, 11:21 p.m.

Carry on brothers and sisters. You are an example for all us in the struggle for the DREAM act and immigrant rights. saludos

Posted by: Lizbeth on Feb. 23, 2010, 11:46 p.m.

Juan, Felipe, Gaby, and Carlos, You four are definitely amazing. I just want to say that you make me very proud to be a Dreamer, and I cannot wait to be able to stand hand in hand with you and sing for our liberation and for our right to exist freely as human beings. Thanks for your sacrifice and keep it up!! California Dreamers stand in solidarity with you all!

Posted by: Marco Saavedra on Feb. 24, 2010, 10:22 a.m.

We all belong to one race, the human race. Thanks for what you do.

Posted by: Carla on Feb. 24, 2010, 12:30 p.m.

“God put each race in their respective continent and they were meant to stay there. “ Just the irony of that quote. If it were so, then there wouldn't be any white supremecy living in America today, now would there? The U.S. is the prosperous country it is today because it was founded by immigrants. These are the type of comments ignorant-uneducated people express. What if the indigenous people told the Europeans to get out because they migrated to their land? Instead, they were taken in and the result of this? The European settlers not only tried to kill as many indigenous people as possible; they took their land, they raped their women and they made them into their slaves/servants. Where are these indigenous people today? They have been cornered into "reservation camps", where the suicidal rate is higher than any other parts of this country. If you search on youtube, they have been abandoned and mistreated by the government. Need I say more?

Posted by: dan on Feb. 25, 2010, 4:11 p.m.

from Los Angeles - You are all very brave and I am very proud of you all. I will be praying for you and following your walk. Please be careful and stay warm

Posted by: Mr SHP on Feb. 25, 2010, 4:20 p.m.

Thank you for your commitment. As you continue to walk through the Old South of my birth I send you courage and patience.

Posted by: m&m(maya and maria) on Feb. 25, 2010, 5:14 p.m.

from my 9 year old daughter: The Klu Klux Klan is wrong about putting wooden crosses on people's doorsteps. Why do they even do that? It is wrong. No one should ever do it. To those on the Trail of Dreams- What you are doing is completely right. I will see you on Saturday in Atlanta and I might bring my dog.

Posted by: Nancy Feraldi on Feb. 25, 2010, 8:52 p.m.

They are stupid old white men . . . the living dead . . . an anachronism . . . an abomination . . . obsolete. We are holding you all in the light and praying for your safe journey though you walk through zombieland!

Posted by: Daniel González on Feb. 25, 2010, 9:24 p.m.

"Vamos a soñar! Vamos a luchar!"

Posted by: Emily on Feb. 26, 2010, 5:45 a.m.

Stay strong! By your actions, you are demonstrating that our social world can and should be organized differently - in ways that promote the dignity and humanity of all people. It only takes one example to poke holes in the illusion that nothing can change. You have more support than you know!

Posted by: Liz McCambridge on Feb. 26, 2010, 6:47 a.m.

There is no reasoning with ignorant bigots. They believe what they believe, no matter how illogical and false. Keep on keepin' on. And be careful.

Posted by: Maira Gomez on Feb. 26, 2010, 7:01 a.m.

I applaud your effrots and am sure you will reach your goal! I am very proud of you! It is young people like you that can make a difference once you set your mind to it :) I'm with you in spirit!

Posted by: Jesus Maria Alvarez on Feb. 26, 2010, 8:35 a.m.

I am in awe of your courage and dedication. I will post a link on my blog and will repost on FB and Twitter. My prayers and admiration are with you!

Posted by: Rosa on Feb. 26, 2010, 10:36 a.m.

Racists have one thing in common, they can’t seem to be able to uphold appropriately and all their statements are in one way or another contradictory. Your second paragraph and Carla's comment (on 2010-02-24 12:30:56) says it all. Too bad not many people are as educated as they should-not academically, nor morally to even understand this.

Posted by: Chico on Feb. 26, 2010, 11 a.m.

It's sad that this stuff still happens in the "Land of the Free"! How can the citizens of this country be free, if people like this are still out there breeding racial hatred. The Klan only spells out ignorance. “God put each race in their respective continent and they were meant to stay there." REALLY! Then all the Germans, the Italians, the Irish, etc, etc go back to your respetive countries cause you, according to the KKK, don't belong here. IDIOTS! this country, after it was taken from the true Native Americans, was born on immigration. That it the beauty of living here. Being able to go into a city and see all the cultures of the world in your backyard. It brings pain and sorrow to my heart and mind that people like this still breed this ignorance and teach it to future generations. I applaud you on your courage and devotion to this country! You're the breed of people that we need here... the ones that stand up for equal rights!

Posted by: Janeth Jimenez on Feb. 26, 2010, 11:56 a.m.

I sincerely tip my hat to all of you! Just seeing the picture and imagining what you must have felt brings me to tears. Living in this country is bitter sweet. I love having all the rights givin by the contitution, but hate the fact these same rights make people think that they are "allowed" hurt and discriminate people. When I was 9 years old I was slapped by my next door lady for looking latina. Her and her boyfriend kept yelling at me to go back to my homeland, I thought they were mad at me for having moved to Colorado from California, where I was born. When the police officers asked her what made her think she was right, she said that it was her constitutional right. I sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart, for having the courage to do what you are doing!

Posted by: Kauket Ka Mere on Feb. 26, 2010, 1:48 p.m.

This is what happen to African in America for 6000 years ,We didn't come here on our on free will we was kidnap and brought to this place called America and builders this country for free by sweat blood and tears and all we get is hate by all race that come into this country . No it not right but now you see what African in America went thought everyday from hang,rapeing,killing from sun up to sun down that what these race of people do. They only care about is there on.

Posted by: Janette Miguel on Feb. 26, 2010, 3:25 p.m.

i agree, " we ALL deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We all deserve to be acknowledged for our humanity."

Posted by: Ted Quant on Feb. 26, 2010, 7:49 p.m.

"We ALL deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We all deserve to be acknowledged for our humanity." Amen. Thank you for your courageous journey and the message you are bringing to all those whose lives you touch.

Posted by: Ronni Blumenthal on Feb. 27, 2010, 4:56 p.m.

For every one person in a white robe spouting hatred, there are five of us - reaching out to the four of you on your journey with welcoming arms. I wish I was along your route as I would be honored to provide you with shade under our oak tree, shelter in our home and food and drink at our table to keep you strong as you march forward.

Posted by: nick torres on Feb. 27, 2010, 6:44 p.m.

Greetings and good wishes, Juan and all (hehe). As we in Ohio are fighting to persuade Senator Voinovich (son of immigrants) to co-sponsor Senator Schumer's bill, I have paused to reflect on your long and difficult journey more than once. You are always a source of strength for me. Thank you for what you're doing. Ohio and the rest of the nation of immigrants is with you. Peace. Nick

Posted by: Itzel on Feb. 27, 2010, 9:07 p.m.

Is so sad that this happened to you guys, but similar stories had happened to me as well and I am sure to others. I find it extremely disrespectful that a person like that old man can talk that way to another person for no reason!!!!!, why wouldn't we have the right to take a breath?...things are not easy but you know what? ....we are gigants and all these things will make us stronger.

Posted by: Maria on Feb. 28, 2010, 11:54 a.m.

"Is the KKK secretly on a campaign to reclaim all lands back for the indigenous people of North America and preparing for the voyage back to Europe? I find this highly unlikely." Very well written! :-) Good luck to al of you. It takes guts to do what you do!

Posted by: heather on Feb. 28, 2010, 3:05 p.m.

you guys are awesome! keep up the good work! Never be discouraged by someone else's ignorance.

Posted by: Sharon Williams on March 1, 2010, 8:52 a.m.

When are you arriving in the fair state of Virginia? What is your route through the state? You might want to stop and look at the wall that was erected in Prince William County Virginia by a man who immigrated from Mexico in late 1970's. He was fet up with all of the racist comments and backlash in the community against immigrants and their families. The broken immigration system also impacts other immigrant groups too - There are many people in the Middle Eastern immigrant community who have been waiting years for their citizenship paperwork to be processed some as long as 5 and 10 years. When you get anywhere near Arlington, VA could you tell me where you are so I can come and walk with you?

Posted by: Emiko Soltis on March 1, 2010, 11:25 a.m.

Thank you for all of your inspiration! It was a joy to welcome you to Atlanta. I have written blog updates along your journey, and hope that it helps expand the reach of those who support you! Take good care...

Posted by: Maria Gutierrez on March 1, 2010, 1:12 p.m.

My eyes break down to tears when I see the images of the KKK. I didn't know they still existed, apparently I was wrong. I want to thank you all for having the courage to step up for many of us. It is so absurd to hear that we as immigrants are bringing the country down. As a growing community in this country, we have demonstrated that we too count, and they are scared of that. They want to continue to brainwash people with nonsense. Most of what we wish for is a better future for our families, and we want to have that right. Thank you once again for your courage! PS. KKK, we are all immigrants, and we are all human like you! We breathe the same air, unless you try to take it from us as well.

Posted by: Nancy on March 1, 2010, 3:11 p.m.

As the granddaughter of a KKK member and grandniece of a grand wizard, I apologize for the ignorance of my ancestors and current members of that hate group. My family has grown away from the hate. While we loved our elders, we eventually saw what their twisted agenda did to people and families; how their hate was against God's Word. This is what they grew up on. They didn't know any better, but we do. Continue your march. I think of the other branch of my family, my Irish ancestors, they'd raise a bucket of ale and cry "Continue on - march forward!"

Posted by: Deborah F. Sevier on March 1, 2010, 6:29 p.m.

God bless your journey for justice! Please know that everyone in Georgia does not think like the ignorant KKK who tried to disrupt your walk. I'm embarassed to know that such hate still exists in 2010. I pray they are in the minority and one day they will die out. In the meantime, keep up your brave fight for the rights that you deserve! Change comes slowly, but it does come!

Posted by: Elizabeth on March 1, 2010, 7:33 p.m.

I thought I would share a tidbit about one of the most profound shows that is on television this season that, to me, touches on the absurdity of racism, in particular when it comes to the anti-immigration movement that has been brewing in the United States. The program,'Faces of America', presents family genealogies to 12 renown Americans, and in doing so indicates how diverse and multicultural we really are thanks to our ancestors. It is like a brilliant ~albeit silent~ slap in the face to the hate groups and followers with like minds to Lou Dobbs. This week we anticipate the 4th episode in the series, which airs for us Wednesday @ 9:00pm. Thankfully the first three episodes (and any future episodes) are available online: The stories are quite moving and immensely touching, and is most definitely a series not to miss.

Posted by: Tania H on March 1, 2010, 10:13 p.m.

My prayers are with everyone on this AMAZING journey! I am an undocumented student and currently attending college. Sometimes, my dreams feel unatainable, but God does not give us anything we can't handle! What you are doing will go down in history... you are changing the world.. one step at a time! My heart is with you all!

Posted by: Sarah on March 2, 2010, 12:04 a.m.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. But for the grace of God, there go I.

Posted by: Justin McLeod on March 2, 2010, 5:37 a.m.

I would just like to say that i very much so support your cause. It's people that are involved in the KKK and other racist communities that truely make me ashamed to be white. While i was growing up, i was tought in school that we as a nation had over come that sick part of our history, but as i grew up i began to find more and more, that a vast amount of "white americans" are still stuck in the throws of racist white america... It truely sickens me. I just recently got an email from a distant family member that proved just how stupid some people can be as well. In this email they tried to put the blame on "illegal aliens", as they said it so many times, as being the reason our economy is so shoddy right now, however the links they posted to "prove" the absurd statement, stated a different thing. They tried to state in that email that "illegal aliens" cost this country over $200billion anually.... After reading what the links had to say about the truth of the matter being only $10.4 billion anually, i came to the realization that if all "illegal aliens" were allowed a decent taxable working wage, they would instead be alowed to contribute to the economy, therefore making me believe that our system needs to change, and get back to what it was origionally, and welcoming your and your family and the families of those around the world, into our country with open arms. I myself cannot find any reason to fault someone who wishes only to better their own life, and help support their family. That i find to be a very respectable trait. also there's basic economic lessons that my family member failed to take into account before stating that "illegal aliens" were the cause of our poor economy, and that's, If you export more than you import, the economy will soar, however if you import more than you export, the economy will fall... Currently this country imports far more than what is exported, therefor, this country has forgotten such a basic concept. but enough of my rambelings... I wish for you success on your journey's and wish i myself could walk with you for part of this journey, however, i'm on the other side of the country. However i can do one thing, and that is keep you in my prayers. May IAO watch over you and help you on your journey.

Posted by: Peter Robbins on March 2, 2010, 6:39 p.m.

It is this "melting pot" of a nationalities that has built this great country. We need a fair immigration policythat reflects botu our origins and current realities. I have a number of immigrants in my ancestry and remind many of the critics that there are immigrants in their family trees too.

Posted by: Robert Korkuch on March 3, 2010, 5:12 a.m.

All the people who are in The United States are from families trees that reach to another country. Why do twenty five percent of this country think that is different than being an immigrant? Even Native Americans who I consider the first people to work this land and settle here might have come from Alaska, Russia, South America. God Loves variety, but many people in our country seem to not acknowledge that fact. The sad thing is most of those people are so called Christians, being fed news by a very Rich man who owns a lot of media outlets. The hate has always been there, but now it is being stirred, and has risen to the top, with a news outlet capable of shouting it out every day. These people with hate in there hearts now feel like a part of something. What you are doing is so important for every person in this country. God Bless You every day.

Posted by: Adrianna Cardinal-De Casas on March 3, 2010, 9:22 a.m.

Wow guys thats ridiculous! Stay strong and keep going! I cant wait till us at El Pueblo join you guys when you come to Raleigh!

Posted by: Volia Cardoso on March 4, 2010, 7:53 a.m.

It's outrageous to see that in today's world there are still so many ignorant and racist people. I feel sorry for people like that, in the end; they are all miserable. God put certain people in the world to make a change, no doubt that you guys are one of these people. You will make history.Stay Strong.

Posted by: miguel on March 6, 2010, 2:33 p.m.

thank u and stand strong we are all with you. may god bless you

Posted by: Meredith Suniewick on March 7, 2010, 3:32 p.m.

I am ashamed of the ignorance and hatred of the citizens of "my" country. What you are doing is so amazing and courageous. My thoughts are with all of you on your journey.

Posted by: Jessica on March 9, 2010, 1:58 p.m.

Many came to this country with the hope of a better for themselves and their families. I am proud of the steps being take to bring attention to this issue. tI makes me sad when I think about the LACK of proper action by our leadership. This is not about ethnic background this is about being fair to the immigrants. This land was built on the backs of immigrants and and if we don't acknowledge this fact we will fall. Canada for example; realizes the benefit of immigration they welcome immigrants labor in their country, and as a result their economy has seen a boost in recent reports. Their currency is now worth more than ours. Their cities are booming with contruction jobs and posted "With a rich history of immigration, Canada is an extremely plural, multicultural society. Canada always needs the skills, talents and enthusiasm of newcomers to continue to grow. Today, Canada is home to immigrants from all over the world, and it continues to attract people from all over the world who want to migrate to Canada and live there. Immigrants are attracted to this beautiful country as it promises stability, prosperity and peace" I remember when this could be said about the United States. We have waited too long and may not have many more opportunities to make our voices heard. Your bravery is inspiring. Let's stay strong keep pushing foward and don't stop until needs are met. There Is No More Fear,

Posted by: Zessna Garcia on March 11, 2010, 10:52 a.m.

Thank you for what you are doing. We are behind you one hundred percent. Hopefully we can soften the hearts of some of these people so set on getting us out of here. God bless you on your journey and we'll be seeing you in Washington D.C.

Posted by: terry on March 12, 2010, 12:27 p.m.

So much has happened to you since you left St Augustine. I envy you your courage and integrity. If my generation had such your would not be on this walk. You are indeed my heroes. terry buckenmeyer st augustine, fl

Posted by: Danielle on March 18, 2010, 3:16 p.m.

I am sorry for every unkind word and action you have experienced. No matter the outcome, what you are doing is humanizing what people try to dehumanize with words like "illegals". That is irreversible change. What you are up against is many people who have not personally known an undocumented immigrant in an intimate relationship. This makes it very easy to project hate toward that group of people. But once you put a human face on an undocumented immigrant, people's hearts will soften. And even if we do not see the changes we hope for in our lifetime, we can keep fighting with urgency and determination; knowing that, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said as he too fought for greater compassion, "Let us realize that the arc of the moral universe is long- but it bends toward justice."

Posted by: Rosemary Gonzalez on April 5, 2010, 5:09 a.m.

Wow. I am so proud of you all. Living in Georgia, i've personally came across a couple of people who don't understand the struggles that each family that comes from another country goes through. They don't have the fears that the mothers of the young men that leave their house at the age of 15 to come to the United States, for a better future. They don't understand the risks that each and everyone of the people who come in Lanchas or cross the border without any food or water, We as inmigrants arent the ones who 'break the law' they as human beings are the ones who break the law but the law of life, by not understanding that everyone does what they have to do in order to survive. I personally was born in Brownsville, Texas, but my parents are from Mexico and all of my friends are from Mexico. Being from another country does not make a diffrence in the person. I think that Obama is going to help us all as students, as hard working people, but most of all as Human Beings. Echenle ganas que estan en nuestros pensamientos.

Posted by: Ann Wooten on April 7, 2010, 6:53 p.m.

i have to ask how many of the K.K.K. or the Tea Party have been to a forein country. Such as China, least of all the country there own family is from.

Posted by: Maria K on April 8, 2010, 10:42 a.m.

"I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other, we gotta start making changes, learn to see me as your brother instead as two distant strangers. And that's how it's supposed to be, how can the Devil take a brother if he's close to me? I'd love to go back to when we played as kids but things change, and that's the way it is......" - Tupac, "Changes" I admire your courage... thank you for being our heroes... ♥MK

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Posted by: Gaston Younger on April 22, 2010, 7:22 p.m.

This country is too big for bigotry & narrow mindness advocated by the KKK. We are all immigrants at one time or another, we need to stand together as each other brothers & sisters. Digamos No a los racistas!