TIMES WHEN RACISM HURT
But didn't defeat me
- •When I first Moved here and was bulliedBy kids who thought I talked funny, dressed funny. I was bullied from the first day of sixth grade until eight grade. My brothers are twins and were referred simply as taco #1 and taco #2. It was hard. It made us angry and hurt and sad. It nearly got my brother killed when he became so fed up so started fighting back. But we survived it, somehow.
- •When I was asked repeatedly in high schoolWhy I didn't only date Mexican guys? Why I had non Mexican friends? Was it okay to call me Mexican or did I prefer Hispanic? Why I spoke "perfect" English? Was I trying to cover up my race? Why I spoke Spanish in public? Was I talking bad about all the white people?
- •When A Guy I liked had racist parentsThis happened more than once. To me. To my sister. It happened to my brothers with girls they really, really liked. But it only happened once with someone I loved. And the thing is, he allowed his parents to treat me differently because of my race. Even defended his family when I turned to him and told him they had offended me.
- •When I lived in AbileneMy freshman year in college. I had no idea what racism was until I lived there. I had severs who practically threw my food at me. I had servers who asked me to pay in advance "just in case", to the horror of the friends I was with who didn't get asked to pay ahead.
- •When I moved to The SuburbsAnd I had people ask if I was a nanny in the neighborhood. And I had an emergency at my house and was asked if I had the keys to lock up my friends house. I had to explain this was my house. And the fire fighter looked at me and the house, said nothing and walked away. When my house alarm went off one day and the police officer made me go through a long, detailed interview to make sure I "hadn't broken into the home".
- •When I have been pulled overWithout speeding. Without a reason. Without any other explanation than I was "driving suspiciously cautiously". When I was asked for my registration because the car I was driving "seemed like a stolen car". I'm guessing by that he meant it was new? I'm not sure.
- •When I have To Cross a BorderAnd a simple "American citizen" as given by any companion isn't enough for me to cross. I have to answer idiotic questions like "who is the president of the US" (really? Would someone crossing illegally not know this?)
- •When I'm Told I Don't Act MexicanI'm not sure what it means to "act Mexican". I mean, I was born in Mexico and lived there until I was ten. I am proud of my heritage and still speak Spanish and talk about being Mexican all the time...so I'm not sure what I'm not doing but whatever it is, I don't care. I'm going to be me. Not some vague definition of what I'm supposed to be like.