If You Want to See Me Cry

Because I shed no tears doesn't mean I don't grieve

By Roberto Rodriguez.
Published on LatinoLA: July 9, 2004

If You Want to See Me Cry

tla tik neke techitas ni chokas

Si quieres verme llorar

If you want to see me cry ...

Talk to me about how some human beings are less human and less worthy of the legal protections afforded all other human beings. It will remind me of when Europeans once debated the humanity of my ancestors. Also, show me the scars of torture victims or survivors, and then talk to me about legal definitions of torture.

tla tik neke techitas ni panos

Si quieres verme sufrir

If you want to see me suffer ...

Show me footage of officers needlessly beating down suspects of color. Also show me men in green chasing down red-brown men, women and children -- this while Homeland Security officials affirm the legality of terror-inducing immigration raids.

tla tik neke techitas ni mikis

Si quieres verme morir

If you want to see me die ...

Show me tanks firing on stone-throwers, or show me the carnage of helicopters or jets firing "precision" missiles at vehicles or homes, hitting their targets while taking out dozens of innocent bystanders in the process. Then hear the military gush over the "successful" strike. Also, show me the walls that keep out the barbarians.

Sure. It sounds like an old, recurring song. Lately it's been photos of tortured prisoners, footage of another black man being beaten, and stepped-up migra raids across the country.

I've often told Patrisia, my wife, that because I shed no tears doesn't mean I don't cry. Nothing moves me more than listening to politicians and government officials call for "time-outs" or the suspension of human rights, while justifying the cowardly, the immoral and the indefensible.

Has anyone forgotten the 1991 televised beating of Rodney King? Do we all still remember the controversy -- not whether we saw the whole event, but whether his beating was racially motivated? That was actually a debate.

How about the 1996 televised beating of Alicia Sotero? She and her compatriots were chased down by the law and beaten like animals. Have we forgotten that controversy -- that viewers didn't hear the officers' commands right before Sotero and the others were clubbed? As if that mattered. No one ever stood trial on that one.

The administration has recently made the claim that not all prisoners come under the protection of the Geneva Conventions. Of course. Silly me. Only human beings are covered under Geneva. Yet, even the Bush-Reagan Supreme Court has repudiated this administration, arguing that "war doesn't give the president a blank check."

Also, when Stanley Miller was repeatedly beaten in Los Angeles with a police flashlight (after surrendering) -- because he purportedly had a gun -- we're again being urged not to believe our own eyes.

Now could someone please explain the warrantless migra raids -- the epitome of racial profiling -- that have been terrorizing the nation's red-brown communities. But could someone please also tell me where's the news in that? Or explain the continual deaths along the U.S./Mexico border that result from policies intentionally designed to drive desperate human beings into inhospitable deserts and mountains. Who cares? They're just illegals anyway, right?

What's different is that it's no longer an issue of labor, nor even the law, but that it has become a Homeland Security issue -- of the Homeland Homies having nothing better to do. (They're also training truck drivers to be on the lookout for terrorists.) That's why drone airplanes are now being used for "humanitarian" purposes along the border. Instead of chasing down actual terrorists, this compassionate conservative administration is also unleashing hunter battalions to track down Mexicans, and Central and South Americans. It's about the American dream -- an America without Mexicans.

If you want to see me cry ... call on peoples -- who've been here for thousands of years -- to go back to where they came from.

If you want to see me suffer ... tell me that fighting against injustices makes one bigoted and unpatriotic.

If you want to see me die ... tell me that all this hate, brutality, torture and permanent war has been sanctioned by God the Creator.

This IS a recurring song, yet none of this makes me cry, suffer or die. Nor laugh. But it does move me. I suspect that it creates movement, or ollin, in all peoples who reject the legalization of dehumanization.

tla tik neke techitas ni ollin ...

About Roberto Rodriguez.:
Rodriguez is the author of Justice: A Question of Race and can be reached at 608-238-3161 or

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