Water. Ever think about not having any?
I don’t. Like a lot of people, I think about conserving water – taking shorter showers, turning off the faucet while I brush my teeth. I think about not buying water and making due with the tap. Once I even read an article about a house that filtered it’s own water supply and thought about maybe one day building myself a house that could do that. I also think about death sometimes (like a lot of people). I think about getting cancer one day, or being hit by a car or sometimes I hear about those freak tragedies where somebody drops from a brain aneurysm and I think well that wouldn’t be such a bad way to go.
But I never ever think about what it would be like to die because I didn’t have enough water. There’s a group of people out there though that must think about water every day. They must confront the reality that maybe their water will run out. And it may happen in the middle of desert, on a summer day when the temperature soars above 110 degrees. They must confront the reality that if they take a wrong turn or suffer an injury or meet a person who considers them an enemy, their time will run out.
I will never have to cross a desert. I’ll never have to risk my life in order to find a job. I’ll never have to run from someone whose taken the law into their own hands. And I’ll never have to go through all of this just to live a life of fear in the land of the free. For the lucky ones who make it through the desert, daily injustices await. Discrimination, racial profiling, harassment, imprisonment, and separation from their families are a few of the things that they must be prepared to face.
Tomorrow I’m giving out free water. Not just because I want the Sheriff’s office in Phoenix to stop terrorizing immigrants and Latinos; not just because I want Wells Fargo Bank to stop leasing space to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a man who has waged a personal and vicious racial war against Latinos in Arizona; not just because I have taken a side on immigration; but mostly because there is no excuse for allowing human beings to die in the desert. There is no excuse for not standing up for the basic rights of our fellow human beings.
September 9, 2008 11:00am – 1:00pm
123 N. Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois
I’ll be standing in front of the offices of Wells Fargo with 2000 bottles of free water and my fellow community members. Will you join us?