23 Years In the First Grade


I sat in this chair over 45 years ago, not this one but the same. I remember putting my books in the bottom. I was sent to school to learn an education, but what I would learn is anger. The Parochial school system was rough back in the sixties when I started. Getting hit and humiliated was the curriculum that was followed. I learned at an old age about the Spanish inquisition which was the torture and enslavement of those who would not convert into the Catholic religion or really didn’t follow Spanish rule. The inquisition started in Europe and the Jews would be the race who suffered this terrible injustice. But it would be the Tainos and native Indians of the Americas that would get the worse of it. For the Jews have prevailed and the Indians were almost all eliminated. In the Book “The Indian Chronicles” written by Jose Barriero he talks about the savage ways of the Spanish and how they used the church as their justification of murder and corruption over the Indian civilization. I believe that same character carried over into the 20th century with schools. They didn’t kill anybody physically, but the mental torture of fear and beatings were implemented on some of us. I remember getting slapped constantly and mistreated in my first grade class which I discuss in my book coming in 2 weeks. My dilemma was racism. When I was7 years old I was feeling anger because of being different. Instead of learning history, math, or reading, I learned how to hate the opposite race. God or Jesus had nothing to do with what they were teaching. It was just the human taking advantage of other humans, hiding behind a cross they themselves didn’t’ honor. I would join gangs and the freedom I searched was to beat up someone for being different. I would go through 23 years of nothing but wasted time and awaken in 1991 at the age of 30. Only to find out that I was living a lie, I look at the chair and see the education it gave me. It should me fear, anger, ignorance, and discontent. When I went to church there was a big cross with a man on it and lots of blood on his feet and hands. I never understood, but what I was looking at was the cruelty of man. How man can savagely beat someone for being righteous. There was an Indian called tecumsah, who when fighting the Europeans said “you killed the son of your own God, but you call me a savage” I believe the inquisition still goes on! It may not be as gruesome, but financially, and in social life it is. People work hard every day just to see themselves still short of paying their bills. Instead of living in the suburbs they have to move back into the terrible sections of the city in order to pay their rent and survive. When you really look at life it hasn’t change much they just make it look like it did. Are we really happy and satisfied with the way things are going? I am, because it doesn’t matter how bad it can be. I know what’s really happening, I am not fooled by that mirage they put in front of us.  I always say to have knowledge and information is the greatest luxury you can possess. Freedom is knowledge. WEB DU Bois once said. “You can put me in chains, but you cannot enslave my thinking” You can’t kill information it will always come back. I guess that little chair did give me an education, I had many detours, but my thirst for freedom led me to who I am today.


May your dream come alive in 2013 :0)


Tyrone Garcia.


The book” Soap That Doesn’t Clean” is 2-3 weeks away.


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