After experiencing what the Rock Island-Milan superintendent called “bias and racism,” a young and proud Mexican student athlete at Rock Island High School — Gabriel Albarran — says the decision to fire the bus driver who told him to take his Mexican flag back to Mexico is sufficient.
“I think that it shouldn’t go any farther than that,” said Albarran. “You can’t really do much. I mean, yeah, he said what he said, but you can’t really do much about it.”
Gabriel says the support he has received from his classmates to members of the Mexican community has been comforting.
“I feel thankful for them,” said Albarran. “Thank you to the whole community for helping me and having my back on this situation.”
Gabriel says he hopes this one incident doesn’t make people cynical.
“If a person has a racist encounter, they’re gonna think that’s how all of America is, but you shouldn’t be thinking like that,” said Albarran.
Ultimately, Gabriel hopes to put this unfortunate incident behind him and continue enjoying his sophomore year and all the wonderful years ahead of him, but he does have one important hope:
“I just want to talk to him and ask him what makes him not like the Mexican culture; what made him in his lifetime hate Mexicans or just hate the culture in general,” said Albarran.
Gabriel says he hopes this issue can be put to bed and has hopefully opened the eyes of people to better understand what it means to accept people of other cultures.