The young girl with the loaf of bread and carton of milk stands patiently waiting for help. She watches the other patrons being checked out in the first aisle with expedient courtesy. She harbors no envy or anger as she waits in aisle two, for she is only 17 and knows no different world. She is standing under a sign with symbols in various colors and shapes. Since she was 13 and “processed” she has understood her place in society. You couldn’t tell by her outward appearance or by the clothes she wore…but the pink triangle sewn onto the left shoulder of her sweater did the trick. It told the world she was queer and a second-class citizen….she wore it proudly.
She couldn’t even imagine herself being an American, as the chosen ones were called. Even before she was processed her status had been in limbo as the local American Citizen council refused to give anyone their American papers until after they went through puberty. Unless of course your parents had been in prison, then you were made to wear a black letter “P” which signified a deviant gene-pool. Hispanics that had parents that were born in country were branded with a green patch that looked like a Poblano pepper. Hispanics that had parents that were born out of the country, but they themselves were born in country, wore a yellow patch that looked like the setting sun. They were usually sad people because they had been placed into orphanages as children after their parents were deported back to Mexico. The cashier still had not stepped over to aisle two, even though there were eight people now waiting in line behind her. They remained patient as the cashier finished chatting to an American and wished her a good day. She and the others were standing under a sign with 25 different symbols, they were standing on American soil.
She paid the cashier for the milk and bread and exited the store. Walking home she kept her head down and walked with determination….and did not dare make eye contact with an American. Queers always walked because they were not allowed a driver’s license. The Americans had passed a law that stated, in part, that if you had been identified as an “inferior person” or IP, you had very few rights. The IPs were composed of 25 distinguished groups. Not allowing them to drive had totally alleviated the congested traffic problems of years gone by and reduced pollution in a drastic fashion. The greater good of the Americans was reason enough to put any handicap on the IPs.
The SS officer was walking toward her and she instantly reached for the small device resembling a Blackberry in her pocket. The Security Service officers were stationed on every block and it was their job to make sure order was constantly maintained. They also had the duty to service the cameras that were positioned every 50 feet throughout the town. She did not look up but was now staring down at the shiny black leather boots of the officer. She handed him the device called an IP-pod (Inferior Person Papers on Demand) and remained silent. The officer entered his security code and posted that he had checked the papers of an IP Queer at 300 Main Street at 3pm. The officer thrust the IP-pod back in her face, she put it quickly into her pocket and continued on her walk back to her home.
She was a senior at the IP high school on 5th street and she had just two months until graduation. Her parents were so proud of her because she had received the top grade in her class for her senior thesis. She had taken over six weeks to write about a specific time in American history. Teachers and administrators at all the IP schools were also IPs so she had no fear of the subject matter of her paper. The paper was about April 23, 2010, a single day. People around the world marked that date as the day that lady liberty died, the day that the 21st century, Arizona governor signed the infamous immigration bill into law.
Once looked upon as the leader of the free world, America and that date was now looked upon as the flash-point for the hate-filled atrocities that had happened since. Like dominoes in a line, countries had fell in behind the new order rules of society that the Americans had layed down as law. The girl had written of how hatred and discrimination flowed much faster than anyone could imagine, faster than the fire of an atomic bomb. The world looked on as diversity and individual rights were snuffed out, they complied….the slippery slope.
The infamous date was not even a part of the history books of the Americans. Events and people who did not progress the greater good were simply omitted from existence. The local American school board had even omitted a past president of the United States, Obama. The American children could not fathom an IP of ever being their leader…that was illegal.
The girl arrived back at her home and was warmly greeted by her parents. The trip for bread and milk had only taken 2 hours, it was truly a good day.
Kristallnacht in AZ. Good writing and story, I enjoyed it.
Wow. I mean WOW. That is one incredible story, well-written, and very pertinent. Get it out there, woman!
It sickens me what is happening in America. Does this mean when I travel I will have to carry papers proving the two little Mexican girls or the little black boy that call me Momma are really American citizens and belong to me? WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!! Where is this going to end?
Two friends of mine are a white, gay male couple and they adopted a mixed race son. They often have to provide proof that he is their son.
This hole thing in Arizona is just so cynical and nasty. One of the things that bothers me the most is the tone of the rheroric. These immigrants, legal or otherwise want nothing more than what everyone wants for their family, security, food, work, a job, an education. The vast majority are working hard to support their families and do not drain the social welfare system as is claimed. They pay taxes, they start businesses and buy homes, they pay into Social Security and seldom collect it. Even if we believe that we cannot open our borders, we can treat these people with respect and kindness. THAT is the American way. We should be building bridges not walls.
Excuse me, whole not hole and rhetoric not rheroric. Time for new glasses…
❤ you …..❤ your writing 🙂 sometimes you amaze me with your blog…and always you entertain me….thank you
It’s not often that a short story affects me…personally, short stories are seldom long enough to get me emotionally or intellectually invested. But, this story has really struck home for me and I have been sharing it out the yin yang. I am hoping that it will cause at least 1 person out there to think about it.
Thanks Susanna, your kind comments are much appreciated! I am very glad to have you here, pull up a chair.
Brightest, warm blessings to you & to the folks that stop & think, because of you.
May your chilling story never leave the realm of fiction & may our country somehow find a way to be the welcoming & fair minded & truly equal-minded country it used to think of itself as.
This country has been to great to fall more & more classifying of it’s citizens.
Please keep strong & keep writing.
after reading about the new law in Arizona in many papers and seeing all of the news coverage I was interested in what you would wrote about it and I must sy this is one of the best short stories i’ve ever read. the law in Arizona is bogotry at it’s finest. Being a lesbian and having a Hispanic girlfriend this story was a very scary wake up call. I hope it never is put into practice but is read around our nation. thank you for writing it!
Well done Julya.
It really makes you want to get involved in your local politics…good and bad legislations start in grass roots organizations…stay involved in your local stuff! Nice writing..it could happen