Voices from Fremont – Week Two

FremontLast Friday, we began this “Voices from Fremont” series to share residents’ experiences in the wake of the Fremont vote (see 7/29/10 posting).  Their comments show the unfortunate effect the Fremont law has already had on the community, even before it officially goes into effect. Their voices show how such policies can tear a community apart.  As we continue this second week of the series, we would like to note again the other side of the picture. Hundreds of Fremont residents worked tirelessly to oppose this law, and they represent the hope and strength and neighborliness we usually associate with Nebraska communities. As that work continues, it is important to recognize that the effect of the vote has been to give license to some who would instead pull the community atmosphere toward a climate of hostility and suspicion. As at other points in our history, it will take proactive effort to achieve integration and counter fear. Let’s hope we can learn from that history, including this most recent chapter.

Con todo mi respeto…yo tengo 4 hijos usted tiene hijos como se sintiría usted no poder tener un lugar donde rentar para llevar a sus hijos, dígame usted que sintiría si estuviera en mi lugar. Yo siento mucha impotencia con esta ley. Yo solo vine a darles una mejor vida a mis hijos no soy terrorista como ustedes nos llaman soy una mamá que tiene sentimiento y sufro al pensar que mis hijos sufren o me separan de ellos. Yo solo le pido pongase en mi lugar ¿usted que haría? *QUE DIOS LO BENDIGA – FREMONT. (7/6/10)

A mother
With all my respect…I have 4 children. Do you have children? How would you feel if you couldn’t have a place to rent to bring your children to, tell me how you would feel if you were in my place. I feel powerless with this law. I only came to give my children a better life. I am not a terrorist as you call us. I am a mother who has feelings and suffers to think that my children will suffer or I will be separated from them. I only ask that you put yourself in my place. What would you do? *MAY GOD BLESS YOU – FREMONT. (7/6/10)

Since the new ordinance passed in Fremont, our community has changed a lot, more violence, discrimination, racism; our community is divided, all because of this ordinance. I’m a businessman and I have been contributing to this country for over 35 years. Now please I’m asking you to do something good for our community, enforcing an immigration reform and help our community live in peace and work to make this country: A Great Country. (7/6/10)

Sinceramente me siento como madre de familia una gran pena por esa ordenanza y un gran temor por mis hijos como van a tomar esto si yo siempre les dicho que esto era una nueva vida para ellos y ahora con esto que les digo si yo misma no entiendo si Dios nuestro Señor nos dió la vida a todos y no hizo a su semejanza. Fue para querernos y amarnos como hermanos y no como enemigos. (7/6/10)

I sincerely feel, as a mother of a family, a lot of pain because of this ordinance and a huge fear for my children about how they are going to take this. If I have always said that this is a new life for them and now with this what do I tell them if I can’t even understand. If our Lord gave us all life and made us in his likeness it was so we could love each other as brothers and not as enemies. (7/6/10)

Since the law has been approved, we have been very scared. When we go out from our home, people look at us differently; we feel discriminated against. We don’t feel comfortable to go on with our daily lives out of our home. We need to work and feel secure rather than afraid. (7/6/10)

Yo me siento descriminado. No tengo libertad en esta comunidad. Tengo miedo lo que está pasando. Queremos una reforma migratoria pronto. (7/6/10)

I feel discriminated against. I don’t have freedom in this community. I am afraid of what is happening. We want an immigration reform soon. (7/6/10)

Soy de Honduras, tengo TPS o sea que estoy legal pero con la ordenanza parece que todos somos ilegales y Mexicanos por que los comentarios que hace la gente racista es “Regrésate a México” yo pienso, que necesitamos una Reforma Migratoria para que no pasen estas cosas feas en Fremont. (7/6/10)

I am from Honduras, I have TPS in other words I am legal but with this ordinance it seems that we are all illegals and Mexicans because the remarks that racist people make are “Go back to Mexico.” I think that we need Immigration Reform so all these ugly things stop happening in Fremont. (7/6/10)

El otro día yo iba caminando y de un carro me gritaron “go back to Mexico f… Mexican. (7/18/10)

The other day I was walking and from a car they shouted at me “go back to Mexico, f__ Mexican.” (7/18/10)

Ultimamente en [la tienda] uno siente que lo están discriminando. Le dicen cosas muy feas y mi niño preguntó “por que ella te habla tan feo.” (7/18/10)

Ultimately at [the store] one feels discriminated against. They say horrible things and my son asked “why does she talk to you like that?” (7/18/10)

No comprendo por que piensan que los latinos somos terroristas. Nosotros venimos buscando una major vida para nuestras familias y a trabajar. (7/18/10)

I don’t understand why they think the Latinos are terrorists. We came here looking for a better life for our families and to work. (7/18/10)

Es muy triste mirar que muchas personas lo miran a uno mal sin hacerles nada y que se sienta tanta mala vibra y odio entre las personas y que los niños miren eso. Todos somos iguales y valemos lo mismo solo lo único que pido hagan consciencia y ayudemonos unos a los otros. Gracias a todos lo que nos apoyan. (8/1/10)

It’s sad to see people see others as bad even when they never did anything, and to feel such bad vibes and hate among the people, and children see that. We’re all the same and we’re worth the same. The only thing I ask is to rethink this and to help one another. Thanks to all those who supported us.  (8/1/10)

Una visita común a las tiendas para hacer las compras de la semana se ha vuelto muy incómoda. La gente a favor de la ordenanza tiende a mirarnos muy mal e incluso hacer comentarios de mal gusto. (8/1/10)

A common visit to the store to do the weekly shopping has become very uncomfortable. The people who support the ordinance give us very bad looks and make rude comments. 8/1/10

Despues de casi 6 años de vivir en Fremont es muy triste saber que aun en estos tiempos hay mucha gente que no entiende lo dificil que la vida puede ser, hay muchos que no tenian opción de venir a esta nación, si su situacion fuera diferente, apuesta que jamás dejarían su país y mucho menos para sentirse en una cárcel y sentir el rechazo de aquellos tienen poca tolerancia. (8/1/10)

After almost 6 years of living here in Fremont, it’s sad to know that even in these times, people don’t realize how tough life can be. There are many people who had no other option but to come to this nation. If their situation had been different, I bet they would never have left their country, especially to feel like they’re in jail, and to experience the rejection of those who have little tolerance. (8/1/10)

Nosotros somos una familia que tenemos viviendo 11 años en Fremont. Somos legales y cuando vamos a cualquier parte, a la tienda o restaurantes sentimos que la gente Americanos nos miren raros aunque no toda la gente nos mire así nosotros nos sentimos mal con el simple hecho de ser hispanos. (8/1/10)

Our family has been living in Fremont for 11 years. We are legal and wherever we go to the store or restaurants we feel the American people looking strangely at us. While not everyone looks at us that way, we feel bad simply for being Hispanic. (8/1/10)

[Note: A number of community partners gathered these handwritten, anonymous comments directly from community members. Only minor corrections to spelling have been made.]
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