While many ethical and responsible officers exist, police violence cannot be attributed to the actions of a few rogue cops. The everlasting questioning of Latinx people’s belonging in the U.S., the unchallenged accounts of Latinx individuals’ criminality, and the veiled over-policing that occurs in segregated neighborhoods makes Latinx neighborhoods vulnerable to police violence.
After years of being asked a version of this “Where are you from?” question, I don’t always answer it the same way. Sometimes I say I’m Latina. I’m involved in a campus group comprised of Latina women of different origins such as Mexico, Peru and El Salvador, and it makes sense that I say I’m Latina in that context. How I answer, how I identify, depends on the day and who is asking.
“One of the things about being in California is that I have been gender challenged since the day I walked in,” Achy Obejas says. “I moved out here in 2013 after teaching at the University of Chicago and DePaul. The issue of something as simple as a pronoun had not been brought up in the intense way that it was here.”