I'm not religious. In fact I don't believe in God.
Even when I was singing in the choir at my old Catholic church I never felt moved. It just felt like I was trying to hard.
What I do feel sometimes though is the need to pray. It doesn't make sense since it's not really directed to anyone but I pray for health, for the ones I love, and for people in pain. Those old Catholic habits die hard and so I pray. I pray for motivation and inspiration to make change happen and to handle the change that happens to me. I pray to the world. I pray to myself.
On Saturday I prayed. I was born and raised and still live in Arizona. The mountains, the dirt, the heat, and the sunsets are a part of me. I am so saddened and hurt by what happened in Arizona on Saturday in Tuscon.
I pray for Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, everyone injured, those who have sadly passed away and their families.
I was so mad and hurt and upset. Twitter and Facebook were a storm and from the people around me I kept hearing explanations to the rest of the United States like "This isn't what Arizona is like" and "Arizona is the wild wild west" to try and not make it seem like Arizona is this beacon on prejudice, bigotry and hate, but for when you think about it kinda is.
I was saddened and hurt by what happened on Saturday but a part of me thought that that could happen here and that part of me got really sad.
We have minute men who volunteer to turn in (sometimes shoot??) desperate immigrants from Mexico. We have private prison business investors writing legislation like SB1070 so that they can make money off of those desperate illegal immigrants. We have Sheriff Joe Arpaio who with his campaign of cleaning out is targeting the Hispanic community. Even though it isn't legal for gays to marry in AZ we pass legislation to change the constitutions to further that sentiment and only value the marriage of a man and women.
I will always love Arizona, but being a first generation Hispanic I don't feel like Arizona loves me back. I feel like there is target on me questioning my citizenship status. I wonder if while I sit in class my fellow classmates wonder if I'm legal or not. I pray for those who have no other financial and social options but to stay in Arizona and work but fear Sb1070.
I pray for change in Arizona so that we don't seem like a state of prejudice, bigotry and hate but from where I stand It's getting hard to see past it all and see all the things that make Arizona great.