In response to the recent Uber Driver shooting in El Paso, TX A reflection on narrative change by Dr. Alisia N. Muir
My student here in El Paso shared the news of the tragedy that struck our beloved city on June 16, 2023. Uber driver Daniel Piedra Garcia was shot in the head by his passenger who was visiting from Kentucky. The passenger assumed Daniel was kidnapping her and taking her to Mexico. Daniel was on the highway. According to police reports, he had not detoured from the route specified in the Uber app. He was not near a port of entry. Daniel’s family made the decision to remove him from life support on June 21, 2023. My student said, “I don’t understand. Why do people think bad things about us and our city? We welcome everyone. We don’t hurt people. Why do people come here and hurt us?” My heart broke for my student. We both grappled with making sense of what seemed incomprehensible. It is human nature to feel sorrow and anger when injured. Unfortunately, unchecked anger can lead to violence. I am held accountable to keep my anger in check by the words of Martin Luther King, Jr when he said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, violence increases hate.” That afternoon, it was important for me to guide my student as she questioned people’s misconceptions of daily life in the Borderlands. The goal was to assist her as she processed her feelings and to provide her with tangible action steps so she could move forward. When there is unresolved conflict, it is natural to feel anxious. The incident involving Daniel was angering. Just like my student, I struggled with balancing my emotions and my perception of the woman accused of taking Daniel away from his family. I struggled to not make what she did the total of who she is. Questions and conflict are natural. However, they should not lead us to inaction. They should not lead to actions that are violent or perpetuate it. I remain committed to seeking balance between inaction and action that does not further violence. I am grateful for Abara. It is not only a physical space but a growing, dynamic community taking tangible steps to create a Borderland that is thriving with healing, restoration, justice, and peace. Amongst the many things that Abara does besides bridge building is being a space to tackle tough questions. It is a space where one can sort out feelings that lead to transformation. I am bolstered by the fact that Abara is here and that it continues to encourage me to show my heart and serve others. For me, Abara House is a place where one can find peace, even if it's just a second. Peace exists when there is justice, healing and restoration. The idea of a physical space to provide people with the opportunity to find peace is amazing. I am here to support the work required to bring this peace-space to reality. Our world needs this kind of space. Why not El Paso? - Dr. Alisia N. Muir is a local High School + College Instructor & Abara Board Member. She also co-faciliates Abara’s bi-national Wisdom Council
WE INVITE YOU TO PARTNER WITH ABARA TO SECURE THE PURCHASE OF THE HISTORIC HACIENDA AND APARTMENTS Abara House is the future home of Abara, a peace-space in pursuit of Beloved Community located on one of the most historically significant crossings in the region and adjacent to the border fence.