Sunday, September 15

Murphy Hall arrest a milestone for cop’s kid


Murphy Hall arrest a milestone for cop’s kid

Roxane Marquez

Whadaya do at college?" my 8-year-old brother Eric asked me as
we ate our Thanksgiving dinner. "Do ya go to potties and drink
beeya ’cause now yer allowed to ’cause it was ya burtday?"

"As a matter of fact, I do," I told him, ignoring his weird
accent. Nobody knows quite where he got it.

"That’s right!" my father exclaimed. "So, bubba, whadja do for
the big ‘TWO ONE’? Didja go to Maloney’s?" my father asked me
half-jokingly.

"As a matter of fact, I did," I replied, wondering why he
sporadically calls me "bubba."

"What was your first drink, Roxy?" my mother asked.

"Well, my first legal drink was a George Killian’s Red." My
birthday was Nov. 15.

Mom looked at me in disbelief. "A beer? My first drink was a
margarita! You should’ve ordered a margarita ­ it’s so much
more classy. And what do you mean by legal drink?" she cried. "Have
you been drinking illegally?"

"Where’ve you been?" my sister Raquel laughed at my mother.

"Can you believe this, Sam?" mom whined.

I didn’t want to hear it, so I got up and walked to the kitchen
to get myself some more Sparkling Cider. Raquel followed me.

I turned her as I opened the refrigerator. "I didn’t think it
would be this bad," I whispered.

"I told you it would be," she murmured.

"You know, Raquel, right now being able to go to bars is the
last thing on my mind."

"Hhmph. And if this is how they reacted to drinking," Raquel
warned me, "think of how dad’ll yell when you tell him you got
arrested."

* * *

Yes, arrested.

I spent the evening of my 21st birthday drinking beers with my
friends Juan and Guriel at Maloney’s. Forty-eight hours later, on
Nov. 17, I spent the evening getting fingerprinted and photographed
by the UCPD. I spent the afternoon in Murphy Hall participating in
the Nov. 17 anti-187 demonstration.

It was my first arrest. The only other people I knew who’d been
arrested were a fellow Daily Bruin editor in A&E and my
ex-boyfriend Matt. The police arrested Matt for public drunkenness
and that was when he was a minor.

On Nov. 17, however, I was definitely not a minor anymore. As
the Violent Femmes put it, this will go down on my permanent
record.

And on Thanksgiving, those were the very words I imagined my
father screaming at me.

Dad’s an LAPD police officer.

One of the first things he taught me as a child was that you may
not like the law, but you’d better damn well respect it and you’d
better respect those who put themselves in danger when enforcing
it.

Then came the Rodney King beating and the L.A. riots. I remember
April 29, 1992. I was a freshman, staring out the window of the
Sproul Five South lounge and watching a long, black cloud of smoke
slowly expand above the skyscrapers in downtown L.A. and the
surrounding areas.

I thought of my father, who was somewhere out in the chaos, a
man in his mid-40s with a wife and three kids. For months, the two
of us had already engaged in bitter debates about the beating and
the trial. I wondered, "How would he react if he knew what I
thought of this?"

Because even though I didn’t like the idea of people losing
their businesses and their homes, I didn’t like the idea of the
gross injustice that had been committed against anyone with a
conscience who believes in justice, and members of the
African-American community in particular.

People needed to wake up. Now. They needed to see that people
were outraged and serious, and if injustice went on long enough,
there would be some formidable consequences.

In some respects, I felt the same way about Proposition 187.

This initiative demonstrated blatant disrespect towards the
Constitution and towards people of color ­ in particular, the
Mexican community, of which I am a part.

Some would argue that Proposition 187 is an issue of legality
and not of race, that the reason we need a law like Proposition 187
is precisely because illegal immigrants disrespect the law when
they cross the border and work illegally in the United States.

I would argue that if Proposition 187′s proponents were really
so concerned with abiding by the law, their targets would have
included the employers who hire illegal immigrants, not just the
immigrants crossing the border.

And I would argue that if Californians were really so concerned
about saving money for the state, they would have spent just as
much energy trying to eliminate white collar crime, which
California and U.S. citizens will be paying for for generations to
come, as they did trying to abolish illegal immigration. But that
didn’t happen.

So on Nov. 17, I made the decision to participate in an act of
civil disobedience.

I was ready to put my record and my relationship with my parents
in jeopardy because I believed it was time for me not just to talk
the talk, but to walk the walk.

And more importantly, I believed that people need to wake up and
understand that this issue isn’t about to just fade away.

Mark my words, conscious people across California have made it
their duty to reveal what Proposition 187 truly represents ­ a
society still plagued with racism, stereotypes and non-rational,
quick-fix solutions.

* * *

I decided to defer telling my parents about my arrest since the
family had already gone through enough suffering this month with
deaths on both sides of the family.

Since my grandmother’s birthday was on Thanksgiving and Dad’s
took place the day after, it just didn’t seem like the right time
or place to say, "Hey dad, I went to jail and I LIKED IT!"

And I didn’t feel lighthearted about my decision, anyway. I took
my arrest very seriously and I’m ready to take full responsibility
for my actions.

Hopefully my parents will understand when I tell them of my
arrest, but I’m prepared to bite the bullet and accept vehement
disapproval.

Regardless of their opinions on civil disobedience, I didn’t get
arrested for them. I got arrested for a cause that I believed to be
just in my heart and mind.

Dec. 19 is my court date, and I’m willing to take the heat. The
way I see it, my conscience called me that Thursday and getting
arrested was the least I could do. Someone had to.

Hopefully, someone always will. Nov. 17 was just my turn.

Assistant Viewpoint Editor Roxane Marquez is a fourth-year
student double majoring in history and English/American
studies.

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