When a mural of Hispanic Heritage Month was defaced last month at Duke University, the Students responded with a message of hope: "They tried to bury us. They did not know that we were seeds. "
" A united community, or "the united community", was the central theme of the celebration of the My People heritage, the organization of Latinx students in the university, in Durham, North Carolina. After a few hours of teamwork and a few paint buckets on September 22, his mural was completed in honor of the annual celebration.
Less than 24 hours later, that mural depicting pride and culture was vandalized, covered by a black aerosol paint.
" It is a reminder to all that more work must be done to prevent xenophobic incidents like this from happening again, "he read from The Club on Facebook – a grim testimony to the current political climate surrounding Hispanic Americans and immigrants in the United States.
Even before Donald Trump set foot in the Oval Office, his inflammatory and anti-immigrant rhetoric oppressed people of color and stoked the fury of white supremacy and the white nationalist groups.
The number of hate crimes and hate incidents throughout the country en ]. In the 10 largest cities in the world, In the country, hate crimes reported in 2017 increased 12.5 percent over the previous year.
"Fears of incidents like this occurred in our community, since other minority communities in Duke had already been victims of specific crimes," co-president of Mi Gente Sujeiry Jimenez said mitú . "I felt devastated but not completely surprised".
The Bureau of Justice Statistics estimates that each year 250,000 hate crimes are committed in the United States, most of which go unreported.
The upheaval of fears is the Trump government's offensive against legal and illegal immigration. Although it has not reached two of its most important goals: building a wall on the US border. UU.-Mexico and deport up to 3 million unauthorized immigrants with criminal records, has been successful in other aspects. Under Trump, the United States has seen an increase in arrests related to immigration, a record number of refugee resettlements and a disastrous family separation policy.
Despite this, the Duke students were not going to let the vandalism get the better of them.
The group organized and reconvened a few hours after the incident to honor the reason they painted the mural: Hispanic Heritage Month, 15 from September to October 15, which recognizes the contributions of Hispanics and Latin Americans. The students channeled that in their challenging efforts.
On the black paint, they painted the proverb "They tried to bury us, they did not know we were seeds". To his left, they repainted the mural.
"While a local graffiti artist acknowledged that he 'tagged' the painting and apologized directly to the students for that, it does not erase the impact on My People and the Latinx community at Duke, which is understandably shocked for the incident, "said Michael Schoenfeld, vice president of public affairs for Duke, in a statement to HuffPost. "Duke continues to use this incident as a catalyst for continuing education around inclusion and diversity, something we hope will activate the entire community."
The university has been dealing with incidents of hate on campus. The Mary Lou Williams Black Culture Center of the university was defaced shortly before the start of the fall classes, with "n **** r" written on the name of the center in the building lobby. After the disfigurement of the mural and a difficult start to the school year, students and administration are baffled, but students try to stay positive to challenge hatred.
"Today we are going to continue with this incident, we will rise and we will remain strong", read the declaration of My People. "The united community will never be defeated" or "A united community, we will never be defeated."