Last Sunday while walking at the Water Front in Seattle, I found a sign that mentioned that there has been over 70 years since a Totem Pole was build in Seattle! As curiosity invited me to check it out, I began to walk toward the place where the Totem Pole was been built. There was a banner that said: “John T. Williams Memorial Totem Pole Project”, and underneath a picture of John T. Williams. John was killed by a Seattle police officer who shot Williams back in 2010. After a very deep talk with the brother of the victim Rick Williams, I understood that this Totem Pole was not only for John or for the Native American community, it was for all minorities who have been victims of either police brutality or racism.
Tragedies like this one happen more often that we think about. Many times seeing them as far away from us, but at anytime it can be one of us Hispanic or a friend or family member, even us… That is when I realized that Mr. Williams effort to make sure that this will never happens again goes beyond a Totem Pole, it is a fight against police brutality, racism and recognizing that we won’t go quiet anymore.
I talked to Mr. Williams about this feeling of community (Native Americans, African Americans, Asian, Latinos etc.) and I thank him for his work and lesson to us (other minorities). I ended my conversation with him and thank him again for doing this for all of us (People of color).