Recently, we have all been witness to the truth of what makes us Americans. As we all witnessed the natural disasters play out in Texas and Florida, Americans were united in a common thread of humanity. Together people of all walks of life came together in the hour of need. Given the political climate in recent months; América refused to be divided along political rhetoric.
Alonso Guillen was an example of the American fiber, Guillen a 31-year old Mexican immigrant who was a Dreamer. Guillen was under the umbrella of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or better known as DACA. Guillen arrived in this country when was 15 years of age.
During the height of the disaster in Houston, Alfonso Guillen a resident of Lufkin, Texas along with some friends answered the call and made the 120-mile trek to Houston, TX to assist with the rescue of Houstonians stranded in flood waters.
On arrival, Guillen along with his friends were in route to rescue those who were trapped in an apartment complex when their boat struck a pillar, catapulting Guillen and two friends in to the rushing flood waters. The bodies of Alfonso Guillen and his friend Tomas Carreon, 25, were recovered days later, the third party survived.
Like many Hispanics I was quite dismissive of Trump’s political rhetoric and just rolled with Trump’s assault on my heritage. Born to an immigrant family, who toiled the fields as a boy and lived in labor camps and I was quite naïve to the hardships. Now I am witness to Trump’s hate rhetoric; that leaves a vile stench that permeates across this great land.
I never thought I would be witness in my lifetime to have the serpent raise its head again out of the abyss of ignorance, fear, and race bating.
Having parents who instilled a work ethic and believe that a man should be known for his compassion and not his wares; I was able to go on and serve this country during the Vietnam War. It would not be long before I found myself retiring after 33 years from the Denver Police Department.
This letter is not about me, but rather a history lesson of the fiber of América that I know. An América that opened its arm’s and did not ask of my ethnicity, only my allegiance to this nation.
Being witness to the struggles in the sixties regarding segregation and discrimination, I was ready to raise my children in an atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance. I never thought I would be witness in my lifetime to have the serpent raise its head again out of the abyss of ignorance, fear, and race bating.
By Raymond Ayon
Raymond Ayon is a retired Denver Police Detective.