Migrant Youth: October 2010 Archives

Undocumented and Unafraid

Guest poster Mark, a DREAM Act-eligible activist ("DREAMer"), responds below to progressive activist Sally Kohn's recent criticism of a Truthout article written last month by four California-based DREAMers.

When identifying myself as an undocumented student (self-labeled as a DREAMer/ once-in-a-while DREAM Activist), I've never let any derogatory terms thrown at me get under my skin. As DREAMers, we've pretty much heard it all from all sides. According to the extreme xenophobic right, undocumented students who've worked hard to fund their own higher education, without so much the help of any federal aid, are still nothing but freeloading illegal alien [undocumented] scum of the earth. Meanwhile, here I am still struggling to pay off my AmEx from charging my college tuition. (Btw, shout out to AmEx CEO for supporting the DREAM Act)

Then of course, we also have our frenemies, those who claim to have our best interests in mind and have consistently told us to trust them. All the while they whisper behind our backs and call us selfish students, elitist at the core, with our falsely perceived "DREAM Act first / CIR-be-damned" attitude. In addition to that, there was the recent remark made by Sally Kohn in a fresh article labeling DREAMers as "petulant children." Being called a "petulant child" is the last thing that I'll allow to get under my beautiful brown and proud skin.

Of course the irony of it all is where we learned the strategy to display our so-called "petulant" attitudes [...more on that later].

What I'm actually upset about is the defeatist attitude that Sally personally admitted within her own article. Forget the name-calling; I can easily brush that off the same as some uneducated xenophobic minuteman calling me a foreign invader. [Hmm...okay, after re-reading that last remark, I'll make an admission of my own, maybe I personally am elitist at times, but only towards true enemies] But as I was saying, reading about how Sally had already waved her white flag before the battle even began this year, is what got my full attention: