Irreversible Damage: The Katie Suarez Social Justice Series: A Novel. JL Ruiz. WPR Publshing. May 2019. pb, 218 pp.; ISBN #: 9781889379944.
Katie, the heroine of this novel, is a Mexican-American raised by two Mexican lawyers in Paradise Valley, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona. This is her tragic and eventually positive story of how President Trump’s political campaign against Mexicans and Mexican-Americans who are “Dreamers” has yielded horrific, tragic results for families, friends and acquaintances. It all begins with the deportation of a Mexican for not having proper immigration papers, an act that destroys his family. The author within this novel does a superb job of explaining how Mexicans began their history of high art and culture by the polices of Spanish invaders who ruined the reputation of Mexicans to less than second-class citizens. This is the same attitudes and though processes that began in America under Trump, a program devised to portray Mexicans as rapists, drug dealers and criminals. It’s a policy that was strengthened by false advertising in the news media and elsewhere. It was cemented by Sheriff Arpaio in Arizona’s actions of deliberately arresting and deporting Mexicans. It was approved by those who found these actions united their basest beliefs which now had public approval. It turned people into prejudiced individuals who really didn’t need or use reason to confirm their biases.
Katie’s family became over fraught time riddled with argumentation and fragmentation. A young man, Mark, is convicted of a sexual crime because of the prejudiced influence of a school bully. Mark is murdered in prison and her parents wind up divorced because of the indescribable grief and fragmentation. Katie’s school project is given a poor grade because the teacher cannot move past her own prejudices about the low status and behavior of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans.
This then is how Katie is first overwhelmed by phenomenal pain, anger and sad frustration but then rises up like a phoenix from the ashes of her tragic life to fight for unification of people despite their cultural diversity. It’s an unforgettable story because it is so well-researched, accurate and truthful about the current state of Americans who have been fed a pack of false lies and biased news reports. Katie becomes a lawyer who forms several anti-defamation groups. We are all equal and deserve to treat and be treated in that reality; this is a must read for young adults and adults. It should be mandatory reading in high schools and colleges. Its accounts and educational advice will and should influence American government and politics today and in years to come! Highly, highly recommended reading – MUST reading! It is an American story about us all!