Age at displacement: 13 years old
Our family was forced to move from the safe and secure life that I knew on Section 14.
My father had worked very hard and built our home. My childhood innocence and fun, happy-going life were taken from me when we moved into a neighborhood that was filled with racism, hate, and anger.
We were not accepted there because of our skin color. I wasn’t prepared for that. I didn’t know anything about being prejudiced or worrying about my skin color. I remember there was a family with three brothers that I had to pass when I would walk to the local market. They would yell at me and call me Wetback and tell me to go back to Mexico. I didn’t even know where Mexico was. I would look straight ahead because I didn’t want them to hurt me.
One day, when I was walking by, one of them shot me with their BB gun. I couldn’t pretend like it didn’t hit its target, because it was so loud when it hit the jeans I had on, that you couldn’t miss the SNAP that the sound made. I kept walking like it didn’t hurt.
I also recall my brother’s car being set on fire; I often wondered who it was that could be so mean. It wasn’t talked about in our family, at least when I was around.
There were so many other instances that I won’t get into. Life went on and my anger grew toward those that shunned me because of my skin color and my Mexican accent.