Lourdes Torres is a native Puerto Rican from the Bronx. Blond and blue eyed you’d think she was Irish if you passed her by on the street. That’s the thing about Caribbean and Latin American people, they fool the ignorant of history. But back to Lala, her affectionate nickname belies her unapologetic reasons for standing up for her people and a community marginalized and oppressed by a systemic racist system that keeps brown and poor white people down.
This share is one of two others I have with her. We focus here on Hostos Community College and she touches on her experience with the battle against the Fort Apache film, led by Evelina López Antonetty. Lala was a part of that. In fact, watch this YouTube video, of one of the public hearings.
The things that were happening 50-years ago are happening today. Grotesque racism, prejudice, judgment, ignorance, vitriol, some of it invoked in the name of God…
Children in cages, Puerto Rican refugees left out in the cold, Syrian refugees shut out, and all over the world, the poor are escaping strangling conditions only to be punished. I sense a storm forming, a disgusting whirlwind impulsed by white supremacists here and abroad who want a worldwide holocaust. We, the people, have nowhere else to go but here, the promised land is the earth.
Somehow, Lala’s hour-long share addresses all of it. The Bronx in general and the South Bronx specifically can pin itself a speaker who can bring down all the categorical notions and reasoning of sterile people without hearts who refuse to see people different than themselves as equal human beings.
I’ve been working with Puerto Rican families living under FEMA’s TSA program and have found so much beauty and so much nobility, I’ve cried myself to sleep a couple of times thinking how many promises have been broken. I had never experienced the homeless feeding the homeless. The exchange happens with pride and abundance, I’ve eaten their food.
Those small and unseeable good times break my heart for the world. Really does.
Thank you Lala for all you have done and taught many of us.
Be kind, look to give, stand up for injustice, and watch out, for “they” might be going after you next.