During the week of Orientation at FUI, we watched a film entitled, "Thunderheart." It is a movie starring Val Kilmer playing a character who is part Sioux. He is sent under assignment by the CIA to crack a recent homicide. The movie revolves around the stuggles between Native American people and what it means to discover your own identity and embrace it. The movie holds much more than that, so watch it.
During the movie, one of the characters who is fleeing the police since he is the prime suspect, has a line that to me spoke volumes, "Sometimes they have to kill us." Jimmy was referring to how the Native American people have chosen to "be who [they] are," and sometimes they have to be killed since their spirit can't be broken.
Later, right around two weeks later made that same connection to Latino folks who are coming from both Mexico and South America. There is still a large wave of folks who are coming from various places to better their lives; the need as well as the motivation to come to the United States has not waned and will not be diluted.
I think of the wall that has been constructed between the U.S. and Mexican border. The wall has to be fortified, stronger, thicker. New technology has to be brought in, these people don't seem to stop coming. And so, my response is the same as Jimmy's, "Sometimes they have to kill us," 'cause our desire, want and need for the same opportunities that other Americans have are enough to get us through Satan's Highway in order to try to achieve the American Dream.
Our people have chosen to remain true to who they are. We have decided to stay immersed in our traditions, culture, our food. We choose to be who we are. Our choice fortifies our spirit.