Commentary: Aaron Hernandez is Another Statistic But I’m Not

The night I had to “prove myself” was a blur. I remember indulging in drugs (illicit and otherwise) and then hitting the pavement in my Timberlands. We went to Little Chinatown in Brooklyn and I proceeded to “prove myself.” Yet, after the incident, which I rather not write in print, I felt horrible. I felt I let my immigrant parents down. I felt I let mi gente down. I was quickly becoming a statistic. I was just another young Latino male contributing malice to society. I listened to A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End Theory non-stop. Q-Tip and Phife helped me come out of the black hole that was becoming my life. Of course, I was still only 13! I had a chance to change. And I did. I changed because of positive rap, my own guilt, and my parents’ tough love.

The years passed and I went off to Xaverian High School, one of Brooklyn’s finest private schools. After graduation I attended Brooklyn College, CUNY and studied journalism. During my years at BC, I volunteered at a community center teaching young adults GED classes. One day, Rene walked into my class. As soon as he noticed me, he bolted as if he saw a ghost. I froze as well. Seeing Rene that day made me realize I could’ve been him.  

The names in this commentary have been changed to protect their privacy. Jesús Triviño Alarcón is Latina Magazine’s Entertainment Editor. The views in this commentary represent those of the author and do not represent the views of Latina Media Ventures.