Half of my genetic material comes from a man who comes from a long line of green/blue eyed blondes. The other half of my gene pool comes from a woman with a more diverse background that as a result has more earth tones in her complexion. I like to think that I am a beautiful mixture of the best of most worlds (I have yet to hear about an Asian in my family history, though I am pretty sure we have everything else).
Anyway, yesterday at a job related affair that I am not at liberty to discuss I stumbled across a nasty situation.
Yesterday someone met me, thought I was brilliant, and then once I made mention of my last name immediately decided that because there is some sort of correlation between my intellectual quotient and my ethnicity that I couldn't really be that brilliant after all.
I thought I would die, then I thought I would kill her, and then I thought that living in "the land of the free" is shit.
Throughout my life I always considered myself lucky that I never got to experience racism first hand. Aside from my current issue with my neighbors, I thought I was home free. But I was wrong.
Once I got home I couldn't let it go. I thought a lot about it and it dawned on me that had this person even implied to an African American what they were implying to me, everybody and their mother would be on top of them. Meanwhile, who sticks up for us?? Nobody.
I think that once again it's time for some social change. I remember my friend Marlene telling me about the Young Lords and how back in the day they were the first to demand equal basic rights for Hispanics in NYC. Where did they go I wonder? It seems ludicrous to me to think that Hispanics are the largest minority in the US and yet they lack representation. We need our own heroes so that we don't continue to be treated like we are freaking indians.
I've always thought that at the end of the day we were people and that race/ethnicity was something that should take a backseat to our actual capabilities. Apparently there are people in the world who disagree. My last name is WHO I am but it's not WHAT I am. As a result of this experience I have become bitter towards ignorant people as a whole, but I think that now I'm beginning to see that maybe this is what I should be doing: trying to change the world one person at a time.