An Open Letter of Love

By Jose Figueroa

Dear fellow Geeks of Color,

Thank you. Thank you for providing space for nerds of color to feel safe, and to feel validated. These sites and blogs, designed by folxs of color for folxs of color, are essential in my own survival and in the fight for equality. Having the opportunity to discuss and learn from each other is powerful, and seeing people of color share their talents and experiences restore my faith in humanity. These communities are full of endless amounts of support and creativity, and are built by the hands of Womxn and Men who are constantly erased and abused. I thank every single nerd of color invested in this work for the love, the well-deserved shade and for the brilliance that radiates off of your skin. Thank you.

The past month has been full of vicious Black and Brown death. My mind and soul have gone back and forth between immense anger, lonely confusion and an indescribable emptiness that shields the hurt and has become way too common. My heart shatters every single time a community is forced to mourn. I cry for those that were taken simply for living. I cry for the families, partners and children who will eternally carry that suffering and loss. I cry because my family, my friends, my students or anyone in the spaces I occupy and love so deeply could easily become the latest hashtag in this Racist, anti-Black, Misogynistic, Islamophobic, Homophobic and Transphobic system of destruction. I cry because I feel defeated.

Seeing my nerd community stand up and speak out against the murders of Black lives across Amerikkka matters. Reading the tweets of solidarity between geeks of color when Queer People of color were gunned down in Orlando matters. The discussions surrounding the new Iron Man, a brilliant Black teenage girl, and the demand for Black Womxn and writers of color to bring characters that look like them to life matters. The valid critiques made towards J.K Rowling’s cultural appropriation of Indigenous history matters. La Borinqueña, Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez’s Afro-Boricua super heroine, standing in solidarity with Queer lives lost in Orlando matters. There are very real connections between the murders of Black and Brown lives and the erasure and violence that communities of color, particularly Black communities, experience every single day. Your commitment to ending that marginalization reminds me that we cannot be silenced. We cannot be defeated.

So, I cry for Alton Sterling.

I cry for Philando Castile.

I cry for Goddess Diamond.

I cry for Pedro Erik Villanueva.

I cry for the 49 lives lost in Orlando.

I cry for every life lost due to this violent anti Black, White supremacist, Misogynistic, Islamophobic, Homophobic, Transphobic system. I know that this will probably not be the last time we have these conversations. But I know Geeks of Color will stand up. We will continue to hold each other and the systems of power accountable. We will support Black lives. We will create space for communities that are constantly erased. We will tell our powerful stories and create change. I’m confident in our magic because I’ve felt it my entire life. So, thank you for being brave and beautiful. I promise to listen and to support with the hopes for a better future for all of us.

In solidarity,

Jose

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