Our words carry power to heal and to unite. Our words may carry hate just as it may carry love. We chose love. Our love is active. When we drop water at the desert we do so with love and we transmit that love onto a fellow human being equally deserving of life, dignity and respect. Even while others chose hate and use our water jugs as target practice for their guns, we chose forgiveness.

It is because of this administration’s hateful rhetoric that we see our Latinx community constantly attacked. When our leaders speak from a place of hate and fear of the other, those words lead to hateful acts, and ultimately lead to hate crimes. When our administration portray Muslims, Blacks, Latinxs as people to fear, then white supremacists are empowered to act on their hate and terrorize our most vulnerable communities.

When our leaders like the Chief of Border Patrol, Rodney Scott, openly refers to undocumented migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border as home invaders, he is painting a picture of fear of our neighbors to the south. Scott admittedly trains his officers using these words grounded on hate. Therefore, when these officers find themselves patrolling our bordertown, they have already instilled in their brain the image of a dangerous invader when encountering people that look like my father. What do our federal agents do when they find themselves alone in the middle of the night, armed, when no one is looking, and they find an undocumented immigrant crossing the desert?

Interim Director Dulce Garcia with Janet Murguia President and CEO of Unidos US

When it is our leaders spouting hate, this becomes systemic. Our leaders have painted our community as less than human, undeserving of dignity and respect. This hate has led to family separation, kids encaged, deaths in concentration camps, deaths at our deserts, deaths in our oceans, and mass shootings. Deaths.

We must not normalize hate. Love must win. We must show love for others in an active form.

We have hope that love will win because more of us are changing the language that we use when speaking of our most vulnerable populations. More and more of us are willing to stretch a hand and meet those of different races, nationalities, skin color, and religion from ours.

For every white supremacist, there are hundreds of us acting with love. Love will win. – Dulce Garcia