Joey Cena: I don’t feel safe in my hometown | TheUnion.com
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Joey Cena: I don’t feel safe in my hometown

My name is Joey Cena, and I have lived in Nevada City for all 20 years of my life.

It is filled with beautiful trees, mountains, rivers, lakes, ponds and much more. The history behind Nevada County is pretty remarkable.

I am the youngest of four children in a biracial family. My dad, who is 100% Hispanic, has run a successful business in Nevada County for over 30 years. My siblings and I would always talk about raising our families here too, the next generation. This has started to change drastically.

What has happened in Nevada City, my own town, is not acceptable. As an American, it is our First Amendment right to peacefully protest. That is what the goal of this March was all about. To start conversations, and to start change in our society.

A man who was protesting peacefully got hit in the face and absolutely nothing was done by police officers to stop it or to detain the individual for assaulting someone. The officer only marched with the violent marchers.

People have told me to “go back to where you came from.” I was born at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley.

If we can’t peacefully protest, what can we do? I, as a Mexican in this community, do not feel safe to walk alone because of my skin color. I do not feel safe because if I get assaulted, the police will just stand and watch (like in this instance). I urge conversations to get started in this county’s police departments because this is not a place I want to live if I feel hated because of my skin color by peers, parents and police officers. I am in my third year of pursuing a degree at Arizona State, educating myself so I can make a better place for everyone — including people of color.

Take this to the heart, from a local.

Joey Cena

Nevada City


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