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© 2016 Irma Herrera

  • Irma Herrera

Building Community, Fighting Intolerance Together


Bay Area Folks, I hope you’ll have the chance to see my play this weekend. Tell Me Your Name, both serious and funny, explores the harm we do when we “other” people. The worst form of “othering” promotes hate and dehumanizes the “othered.” And three groups have been in the cross-hairs of this vitriol for several months with hot and harmful political rhetoric: Yes, we, the LGBT community, Latinos, and Muslims, are all hurting by the mistreatment and violence aimed at us. Of course many of you are members of groups live in states of persistent dehumanization. Last week, a friend posted this on her Facebook page: “I went to East Bay Meditation Center (Oakland, CA), a sangha for people of color. The teacher led a sound meditation, ringing a bell for each of the victims in the Orlando shooting - including the shooter. Afterwards the gathered community read their names aloud and not the least of the tender moments for me was hearing all the Spanish surnames pronounced correctly by Asian and Black and Latinos of all shades. Thank you Oakland EBMC POC.”

Whether in life or in death, all of us deserve to be seen, acknowledged, and accepted for the fullness of our lives. We are a conglomeration of identities: latino, chicano, asian, black, indigenous, white, bi-racial, multiracial, gay, trans, straight, male, female, católicos, Jewish, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists, atheists, y mucho mas. And none of these identities should cause us to fear for our lives. My condolences to all the communities targeted by hate and violence, too many to count. We show respect for people by learning their names, by saying them right, and in that small act we say, YES, I see you, I care about you. "What’s in a name? A minefield of misplaced notions — comical, sad, damaging — that speaks volumes about where we are as a mixed nation. Drawing on personal experience, American history, observations from the front-lines, and laugh-out-loud humor, Irma Herrera’s one-woman show encapsulating the differences that plague us, could not have come at a more opportune moment.”

— Andrew Ross, Distinguished Journalist in Residence, UC Berkeley, School of Journalism

If you haven’t yet seen this video please watch, it isn’t our Muslim neighbors we should fear. What’s scaring me is the homegrown hate and intolerance that has been growing in our country.

If you haven’t yet seen this video please watch, it isn’t our Muslim neighbors we should fear. What’s scaring me is the homegrown hate and intolerance that has been growing in our country.

#lgbt #orlando #tolerance

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