Social Justice and “identity” by Benjamin Alvarez

” Have the voice, speak up, you need to keep the movement going!” – Valerie

” You need to build a support system” – Valerie

These are one of the many sayings that Valerie Thomas said to us when she talked about Social Justice. She had inspiring words that made me want to stand up for my rights. I loved that class!!

“Proud Native of my own invention” – Neeka

“Theres not only one truth” – Neeka

Today we were talked to by Joshua Hathaway about colonization and out identity. He had some good words about our ancestors but then he said a sentence that frustrated me. He said “the guy that died on the cross didn’t suffer for you, your ancestors did”. Although I do believe my ancestors did, I also believe that “that guy” (Jesus) died for us too. He talked about identity and basically said you have to be in tuned to one religion/culture to be an actual indigenous person. He presented this with anger and it showed his true colors. I get to decide who I am. I didn’t want to be rude but I then realized he was the one who was rude. I didn’t stand up for my rights but I should have. Why?? Because I know who I am, I have the right to say NO. He has his truth and I have mine. Proud Native person is my identity and when someone comes to me and says that I aint who I am I have the right to speak up, you cant tell me what my ancestors would have thought to who I decided to be today. I am a proud Mormon, Navajo, and Mexican, Indigenous people and you cant take that away from me.

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3 thoughts on “Social Justice and “identity” by Benjamin Alvarez

  1. D. Bowens says:

    It is unfortunate that you had to experience this. Do not let this deter you from what you believe. Take this as a learning experience, build on how you would respond next time you are faced with this same situation. The hard part will be doing so in love and not responding in anger like this person did. When you graduate you will be surrounded with people who will be against everything you believe in. The first response of people is to be offended when they hear the name Jesus. Learn to accept that there will be people like this, but also learn to use his to build your relationship with God. Stay strong, I too am a Bible believing Navajo. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

    • benjaminalv says:

      Thank you for those words of encouragement! I totally agree what you are saying and I’ll remember what you said.

      • D. Bowens says:

        You are most welcome, prayer does wonders. Don’t let it ruin your experience there. Have a wonderful day!

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