Have we lost our Voz?

It is one of those nights in which my roommate and I are engaged in another late night talk about our lives as minority Syracuse University students, and as citizens of the world. We discuss that our desire to succeed births from both external and internal pressures caused by being exposed to luxury, a collective environment of high-minded individuals and the far away thoughts and wishes that our respective families hold in our potential to succeed.

But as we go along with our college education, my roommate and I (and everyone else that may look like us, act like us, or frequently associate with us) have at least the most basic itch in our cerebellum that indicates that we are disconnected with the real reasons why we are educating ourselves. Our Latin, African, Caribbean, or Middle Eastern ancestors went through hell in order to get any education past college. We may state that this is a time in which unequal opportunity is non-existent, but we still behave as if we are. As if mami, who was an accountant in the Dominican Republic, cannot crunch numbers like Mr. Johnson. Or as if papi, who graduated with honors in electrical engineering does not have more skills than any engineer coming out of the L.C. Smith School.

The problem frankly is that when we stepped into our dorms and skimmed through the pages of our Psychology 205 books and then decided to go to that party on Euclid where all of our friends are we forgot about the struggles mom and dad went through. When we acquired a little freedom, we lost a lot of dignity (and at least I may speak for myself in this one) but sometimes coming to Syracuse makes you forget when you came from.

Latino and Black students rich or poor, by the sole definition of their ethical values are connected to struggle. Throughout the years, we have grown too fond of our comfort to respond to the discomfort of others, we have observed and studied the freedom movements that take place in the other side of the world and unable to recognize the injustices of our side and thus apply our knowledge to emulate movements of our own. We have simply lost our voz?

Pero eso que tiene de malo? Nothing really, it may just be the case that I am overreacting with arguments that you are too busy or too indifferent to understand. Or it may be that we are a sleeping giant soon to wake up. All I know is that ultimately, realmente no se nada.

By Merlin Valdez

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