Tag Archives: Mirabal

Ignorant

19 Jun

I am often told by someone close to me how ignorant I am when I express my dreams and aspirations of changing Latin America. And when I am in the Dominican Republic speaking to my friends about how I want to fight for human rights and end corruption in the country and all of Latin America I am often laughed at and sarcastically told good luck.

Perhaps my aspirations do make me ignorant; I am willing to admit that it is a possibility. However, I am sure that some of history’s greatest visionaries were told they were ignorant as well and often laughed at. When Martin Luther King Jr. was younger and speaking with friends about how he wanted to see a world where all men and women are treated equal they probably told him he was ignorant. They most likely told him he was an idealist dreaming an impossible dream. When Susan B. Anthony told her family that she wanted to fight for women’s suffrage they most likely called her ignorant and told her that women’s suffrage would never come to past. And when Minerva Mirabal told her family and even Trujillo that she wanted to go to law school and become a lawyer she was laughed at and told she was too pretty. When she voiced her opinions against the Trujillo regime people rolled their eyes and told her to be quiet, when she later fought against the regime she was told to stop.

I am not at all saying that these visionaries were the first or the last to fight for what they thought was just, for a fairer world. Nor am I saying that I am the first person to want to fight for human rights in Latin America, or the first person to want to fight against corruption. However, these people made significant gains in their struggle and really changed the world. It reminds me of something my favorite professor told our class his first day as a professor. He had just moved to the U.S. after spending eight years in Latin America fighting tirelessly for human rights. He said, “I am here to teach you all in the hopes that I might inspire a new generation to go and work for what I worked for.” He had been in Guatemala and for years had received several death threats, he told us he was tired of working so long for something that never changed. So yes, perhaps I am ignorant to believe that change is still possible in Latin America but change is truly impossible if no one tries.

I am a person who believes that the Lord marks our hearts with what we are supposed to do. That he gifts us a passion for something. If one does not work in that passion that the Lord gifted they are never satisfied, like a thirst that is never quenched. I believe that the Lord marked my heart with the desire to help people, to fight for human rights in Latin America, to fight for social justice. Yes, I could join the majority of the population and be apathetic to what is happening and assume that change is impossible. Or I could be ignorant, optimistic, and active. So yes I continue to make it my life goal to fight for human rights in Latin America, to fight for a less corrupt Latin America, to unite with the civil societies in Latin America and fight for what is right.

It is quite possible that Latin America may never be completely free of corruption and human rights abuses, even the United States isn’t, but it could be much better. I believe in the potential of the region, the potential of the people, of the campesinos. Perhaps it is better to be ignorant to believe in a better world, to be optimistic. During my lifetime if I am able to help make even a small change or help one person than I made a difference and maybe not that all ignorant after all.