“Cold fingers of fear grasped at my throat.” Those are the words of Rep. Jessie Ulibarri, a Colorado Democrat who was asked by his 15-year-old son whether or not he could play cops and robbers with his Nerf gun.
He continued on his Facebook post, “With a dry mouth and wet eyes, I angrily told him that he could not go outside and play a simple childhood game.”
Why all the fuss? Ulibarri, who is Hispanic, explained that he was afraid that his son would be profiled because of his dark skin. “I hope [my son] knows that I am not angry with him,” Ulibarri continued, “but I’m infuriated with the world we’re raising him in. I’m angry at myself for limiting my son and denying him his youth because I’m petrified of what may happen to him for LWB (living while brown). I’m angry that black and brown boys are always seen as a threat, and never the joyful kids I know them to be.
“The verdict in the Trayvon Martin case has caused so much pain for so many, and our family grieves tonight. We mourn not just Trayvon and his family, but for the loss of innocence and freedom every brown and black kid endures with this verdict.”
Ulibarri has since removed the post from Facebook, but the full text is still readily available on coloradopols.com.
Ulibarri’s argument is somewhat strange. George Zimmerman is part Hispanic, so the not guilty verdict did not oppress Hispanic people. Ulibarri could be referring to the recent string of vigilante attacks of black people against whites and Hispanics, but that seems unlikely because he lumps brown and black kids together.
Has the Zimmerman verdict made life more or less dangerous for Hispanics? Do you agree with Ulibarri’s argument?