Tag:

racism

Blackish, racism, Trump, post-obama, election

Do you watch Blackish? We do. It’s one of those shows that we watch as a family the day after it airs because simply put, we can personally relate to many of the topics of the show but none more than this week’s episode, “Lemons.”

In 30 minutes, Blackish brilliantly covered everything that I’ve felt in the past 2 months about the election. Some of it, I’ve said on here before and more recently, I’ve gone quiet because I’ve been processing. I’ve been preparing to keep on fighting for equality. This fight is nothing new to me as a Latina woman, and if you are an African American, a member of the LGBTQ community, a person of the Muslim or Jewish community, disabled or any minority for that matter that was looking forward and hung all of our hopes of equality on a white woman, you know exactly what I’ve been feeling.

In retrospect, I guess we were all a bit naïve. We got cocky and complacent and we thought Hillary Clinton had it in the bag and she was the change/ the chance for true equality that we were all waiting for and maybe we put that on her because she was a white woman. Maybe somewhere deep down inside we felt like we needed permission/ confirmation of our equality from a Caucasian. How ironic is it that white women are the very exact ones who failed us at the polls?

We’re equal. We’re human. We don’t need anyone to make it alright. It’s a fact. Just like no other candidate can make us less than. Our President-elect may think we are less than he is but it’s simply not true. We are all the same. I don’t need him to give me something we already have the privilege of being born a human being.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about race lately because things just got a lot more in your face. The other day I watched Birth of a Nation and I cringed at the thought that any human could treat another human like that. It, quite frankly, broke my heart. I watched it with my 11-year-old daughter and we both just sobbed at the inhumanity. The thing is that wasn’t very long ago.

Then, I watched Loving. In case you are not familiar with the story, it’s about an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, living in Caroline County, Virginia in 1958. Richard Loving, a white construction worker, fell in love with a local black woman and family friend, Mildred Jeter. Mildred gets pregnant and overjoyed, Richard asks her to marry him. Knowing that interracial marriage violated Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws, they drove to Washington, D.C. to get married.

But soon, sheriff’s deputies raid Mildred’s home and arrest the couple for violating the anti-miscegenation law. When Richard points to the marriage license, the sheriff curtly tells him that it has no validity in Virginia and takes Richard and, a very pregnant, Mildred to jail. Richard makes bail but then is not allowed to bail his wife out. She is forced to spend the weekend in jail, pregnant and in her nightgown and robe because the government of Virginia refused to recognize their marriage.

They plead guilty to breaking the anti-miscegenation law and are sentenced to one year in prison. However, the judge suspends the sentence, on condition that they couldn’t return to Virginia together for at least 25 years. The Lovings moved to D.C. to stay with a friend of Mildred’s but return to Virginia so their first child, Sidney, can be delivered by Richard’s mother, a midwife. Arrested again, they are cleared when their lawyer says he erroneously advised them they could return.

From there, the ACLU got involved after Mildred sent a letter to Bobby Kennedy asking for help with her situation. In 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court decided in the case of the Loving v. Virginia, which finally invalidated state laws prohibiting interracial marriage. That was only 50 years ago.

In 1972, my Caucasian mother from Virginia excitedly went to tell her grandfather who had raised her that she was marrying my father, a Mexican, and his answer was, “You may as well marry a n*gger.” I never really understood the weight of that comment until I watched Loving.

My great grandfather disowned my mother and she was heartbroken that he couldn’t accept the man that she loved. We never met that man because she wasn’t going to expose her children to that kind of hatred. I’ve only been taught and ever known, in my heart, that everyone is equal. My parents taught me that. But not so long ago, even in my own family, prejudice ran rampant and divided loved ones forever.

Prejudice is nothing new to most of us. Now, it’s just less covert but it hurts either way if I’m being honest. Nobody likes to swallow their tongue why someone else berates and belittles them and we shouldn’t have to. I wish we could do more than change the laws to ensure equality but actually change people’s hearts so that they saw us as equal because until that happens, we are not treating the cancer that is prejudice, only the symptoms and truly, that’s not much.

I guess what all this was about was to tell you that you are not alone in your feelings and if you don’t believe it, watch Blackish the episode “Lemons” you can catch it on Xfinity, HULU or the ABC App. I have no affiliation with these companies, other than paying for subscriptions, I just really think you need to watch it. You’ll see that you are not the only one thinking these things. You are not the only one terrified, depressed and saddened by the unpredictability of the upcoming term.

But please, stop complaining. And don’t be afraid because I know many of you are and who can blame you. But sometimes doing the right thing has to make you be braver than the fear. We’ve got work to do and the whining and crying is just pointless. It’s like worrying, there is not purpose to it. What helps is doing the work. Fighting the injustice. Making your voices heard so we don’t keep ending up here, in the worst fucking episode of Groundhog Day ever. We can do it. Yes, we can.

If you are disheartened by the election results, what are you going to do about it? How are you going to work to change the situation?

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racism, racism at school, students, Donald Trump

What do you do when your child comes home from school and tells you about all the blatant racism she experienced at school that day? Racism is nothing new but I’ve never had it directed so closely at my children. Wait, let me clarify, no one called my daughter a “Beaner”, “Wetback” or “Spic”; none of the common slurs you get when you are a little Mexican kid. No, my daughters, like myself, are very fair skinned and they actually look more Nordic than South American. They have blondish hair and blue eyes. Nothing about them screams, “I am Mexican hear me roar.” But they will tell you, in no uncertain terms, “Yo soy Mexicana, escuchame…..ROAR!!!!”

The thing is when you look Caucasian, people don’t worry about what they say around you. They think that you shouldn’t be offended because when they are insulting your culture and your race, they are not actually insulting “YOU” because to them, you are different (you get a pass) because you look the same as them. Let me tell you what, that’s even worse. Casual racism where you tell me that I shouldn’t be offended because you weren’t referring to “my kind of Mexican” is beyond insulting. People always expect Latinos to be “more Latino” or, in my case, more obviously Latino.

I’ve experienced this kind of attitude my entire life due to my white skin. My mom is Caucasian, so technically I am half European Caucasian (with a twist of Cherokee) but I am also half Mexican. And, as anyone of color will tell you because we know this firsthand, if you are brown or black in any amount, to most Caucasians, you are “other” because you’re not 100% Caucasian so I’ve always just embraced it. I refuse to deny who I am, where I come from or the fact that on my dad’s side, I am first generation Mexican-American. That makes my daughters with their alabaster skin, blue eyes and blonde hair, second generation Mexican-American. We are proud of this, as we should be but then, every once in a while, especially in today’s politically charged, infused with extra hatred and bigotry environment, we are slapped across the face with the feeling of others trying to make us feel small and less than. Yes, even today in 2016.

racism, racism at school, students, Donald Trump

Not to bring Donald Trump into this but honestly, he has broken the dam of the shame of racism that most polite societies had been adhering to. He has come in like a hurricane and ripped all politically correct walls down and made it not only acceptable but in some cases even applaudable to be prejudiced. Racism, xenophobia, and bigotry are running rampant under the guise of national pride and patriotism. I’m here to tell you that it’s not acceptable and never will be. It’s still just as disgusting as it ever was and now that the Trump trickle-down effect has directly involved my children, we have a problem and I’m ready to fight.

Which brings me to a couple recent situations that happened to my daughters at school recently. I’m pretty tolerant. I know that children sometimes regurgitate things they’ve heard at home without knowing what it really means. I also am painfully aware that hatred is taught not born. My girls know this as well and they readily afford their fellow students the benefit of the doubt but when they hear a prejudiced joke or comment made they also readily volunteer the information that they are Mexican and that those particular comments are offensive to them. In my house, we always think to ourselves, what would we allow someone to say to Grandpa Manny? If it would hurt him, it hurts us.

Last Wednesday, my daughter came home from a field trip, that my husband attended with her, and told me that the other kids in our car were telling her and one another that they were “voting for Donald Trump” and “Hillary Clinton wants to kill babies.” They went on to say that they wanted Trump to win so he could build a wall and “keep the Mexicans out!” Before my husband had the chance to say a word, my 9-year-old informed the children, “You know that I’m a girl and I’m Mexican.” (My 9-year-old doesn’t understand why anyone would vote for a racist misogynist, especially other women.) To which the kids answered, “Well, I knew you were a girl but I didn’t know you were MEXICAN!” My daughter’s answer, “Well, now you do.”

I don’t know about you but I find it very disturbing that parents are at home telling their kids that Hillary Clinton wants to kill babies and I’m personally offended that these children want to keep Mexicans out like we are some kind of criminal, lower life forms. It also disturbs me that my children are surrounded by such blatant racist every day.

On Friday, my daughter jumped in the car at pick-up and told me another disturbing tale of fourth-grade racism.

A group of children was talking and said that they hope Trump wins so he can keep the Mexicans out because they (Meaning Mexicans) are part of ISIS and the part of the reason the Twin Towers were attacked. What? Has the world gone mad?

racism, racism at school, students, Donald Trump, Ann Coulter

Take a moment to soak that last statement in. Does it disturb you to your core too? Because the sheer magnitude of the ignorance of that statement frightened me. If these children think Mexicans are terrorists couldn’t that prejudice them against the Latino children at the school? I know there is only a handful of but still. My point is this, the entire discussion was inappropriate and factually incorrect. Mexicans are not Islamic terrorists. All Muslims are not terrorists. And it was Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden who were responsible for the twin towers and 9/11, not the Mexicans; not a race or a culture but a group of terrorist extremist. Why are these parents teaching their children to hate people who don’t look, act, and talk exactly like they do?

Apparently, these children have confused Mexicans and Islamic terrorists. I know the skin tones can be a little confusing if you are not exposed to a diverse group of people but either way, these children are regurgitating racism and xenophobia; neither of which I feel are appropriate or should be tolerated in life and certainly not at the school.

I’m not normally one to email the school with every single infraction or indiscretion. I am an active parent volunteer at the school and I support their mission, that’s why I enrolled my daughters in the school, but this kind of behavior cannot stand. I had to say something. There has to be a zero-tolerance policy for this sort of behavior. These situations warrant a discussion with the children and they need to know in no uncertain terms that prejudice and hatred are not okay on any level. We need to teach the children tolerance and acceptance of differences, not persecution and prejudice.

This election has given people a false belief that it is their right to be judgmental and a false sense of justification in racial profiling and it’s become uncomfortable on a very personal and basic level. I don’t want my daughters thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with being Latino nor do I want them to feel ashamed or like they are being judged or put in danger simply for being born with Latino blood in their body.

I realize that my daughters look Caucasian and may not experience blatant racism as frequently as some other children who have more obvious Latino features but it is sometimes just as uncomfortable being the whitest Mexican in the room, especially when racist comments are being thrown around and you know all the people that you love most in the world are being denigrated. I don’t want my children feeling ashamed of who they are because other children are being taught racism and hatred at home.

I don’t know about you but I have a pretty thick skin when it comes to myself but if you insult or injure my children, you will have me to contend with and I won’t let it go because it is my job to protect my children. If that means I have to hurt someone’s feeling by pointing out that their bad behavior will not be tolerated, then so be it.

What would you have done if your child was experiencing racism at school?

 

 

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Bad parenting, Cincinnati Zoo, cincinnati zoo gorilla, Donald trump, MIchelle Gregg, racism, Racists, Trump Supporters

The crazy people of the internet went from a polarizing hatred toward me over the Cincinnati zoo gorilla and my opinion of Michelle Gregg to straight up racists this week. People were commenting on everything from the fact that Michelle Gregg was African American to tossing around racists stereotypes like it was their job. I was appalled.

The thing is I wrote a knee-jerk post in a moment of anger. I’m an emotional writer who lacks a filter. I got more facts and apologized for being so judgmental. Then something unexpected and crazy happened, all the “Trump people” found their way to my blog and turned a horrible mistake into a venue for racist rants. This shocked me because, I have no idea what the race of a mother, or the criminal history of the child’s father has to do with their ability to parent or whether or not they love their children. What shocked me the most is that suddenly a parenting issue became about race.

Whether you buy your food with cash or on an EBT card, aren’t you still feeding your children? Since when is it a crime to be a little less financially fortunate? And just because a person made some mistakes that landed them in hot water with the penal system, does that mean they are incapable of loving their children? I don’t think so.

I’ve learned this week that the world is full of hateful, narrow-minded people that will use any excuse to spread their hateful agenda. Small people like to hurt people at their lowest moments and kick them hard when they are already feeling down.

I thought the worst had happened when I received close to 400 comments on my post telling me what a sanctimommy I was after I wrote the post about the mom who I held responsible for it all. The internet was not happy with me.

I was being judged presumptuously by the blog title alone (obviously, no one read it or most would have realized that I shared many of their opinions on the situation.) I was called every terrible name imaginable, told to come down off of my high horse, facetiously called “Super Mom”, “perfect Mother” and a proper “C*NT” (not so facetiously but quite literally) more times than I can even count.

Yes, she may have been responsible for not paying enough attention to her little guy for a few moments/minutes but then again maybe the enclosure should have been better child proofed/ less dangerous and maybe, just maybe, it was all just a horrible accident that could have happened to any one of us and has, to some degree. I think that’s where all the anger originated from.

People, parents especially, were identifying with this mom, empathizing and remembering a time when their child slipped away out of their gaze, even for a moment. It terrified them because any one of us could have ended up in this exact situation or something similar. It just so happened that I was the cold-hearted bitch making them all feel like mom failures. Which was never my intention. Then I wrote an apology for being hasty. That’s when the internet lost its f*cking mind for real.

The Racists came Out in Full attack mode.

Look I can take it if you want to attack me for my unpopular opinion. It was judgy and had a very polarizing opinion. What I don’t get was why when I published the second post, the one apologizing, I got just as much hate mail. All the people who apparently supported my original post but dared not voice their support suddenly sounded off and they were outraged. All I could think was, “Where were these people yesterday when I was being crucified by the internet?”

Honestly, I don’t think anyone read either post. I think everyone just read the title and formed their opinions of me. Talk about judging a book by its cover. Hell, it could have been the exact same post, just with a different title. In fact, it may have been. I’m never telling. You’ll just have to read for yourself and find out.

But then, something even more unbelievable happened, what was about a mom and her parenting skills or lack thereof suddenly became about race. I don’t know what one has to do with the other but all of the sudden the comments on the FB share became very dark. People started attacking this woman for her race, which has absolutely nothing to do with her parenting skills.

I won’t repeat what these racists were saying because low”>I’m not a racist  myself but you can go see them for yourself and be disgusted here.

One commenter accused me of having “white guilt”. Firstly, I’m Latina. Secondly, I wrote the post before I ever saw a picture of Michelle Gregg. Thirdly, I grew up in a very urban neighborhood, my entire neighborhood was African American and so are some of my favorite people. Who’s jumping to conclusions now?

Anyways, who knew that a little boy falling into a gorilla enclosure could bring out all of the “Trump supporters” to this mom? Honestly, this is just a symptom of what our country is becoming since Donald Trumpp has been campaigning for president.  People now think it’s okay to be openly racists. It’s bad enough if you have that hatred in your heart but it’s quite something else when you decide you are free to shout it out into the world, not caring how those words affect others. It’s as if they are proud to be racists.

People no longer feel ashamed or fear consequences of this kind of despicable behavior. This simultaneously sickens and terrifies me. Somehow this election season has brought out all the worst in people of our country and made people believe it’s acceptable to wave their racists flags high. Have you seen the Purge? I feel like lynchings could be making a comeback if Donald Trump gets into the oval office.

I don’t usually delete comments on my blog because I am a big girl and when I put my opinions online, I’m open to debate. I don’t expect everyone in the world to agree with me. Hell, we can even be friends if we have opposing views, as long as we respectfully agree to disagree but if you are leaving racists remarks on the blog, they will be deleted because I won’t be used as a venue for you to hurt other readers with your small minds and mean words. Bottom line is that if you are a racist or a bigot, we can’t be friends so just unfollow me now. Stop reading.

And to the “friend” who decided that after 3 days of being hated by the internet, she’d take her turn and kick me while I was already down. Bye Felicia! There’s no place in my world for fake friends. I’m grown. Life’s too short for shitty friends.

If you heard someone being a racist in person ( or online) would you speak up or would you be silent for fear of backlash?

What would you really do if you heard/saw racists spewing hate towards someone else?

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Charleston Shooting, racism, tolerance, church shooting, South Carolina, Dylann Roof

The Charleston Shooting was not an isolated case. It’s not even the first time RECENTLY that unwarranted violence has happened in Charleston. It was the brutal murdering of 9 innocent African Americans for no other reason than being black. The Charleston Shooting is not just something that happened to the American people. This is something that we allowed to happen by being complacent and silent and doing nothing more than bitching about the ongoing state of civil rights in America for decades. We could have prevented this had we stood up, fearlessly and relentlessly against racism.

Innocent people were shot and killed by a man who thought he was justified in walking into a Charleston, South Carolina church during services and murdering them because he felt that he was entitled to, after all, he didn’t see these people as human. He saw them as “other”. He saw them as less than and because you are on your high horse now…you are still culpable. We all are. We allowed this to happen, yet again.

Dylann Roof is a monster but we allowed the monster to exist. We tolerated his behavior like so many others before him. We allow our fellow human beings to be treated like animals. We don’t stand up until it is in rage when it is staring us back in the face. Then we settle back into our new normal and we move on with our lives. What we need to do is get outraged and never stop being outraged at this blatant racism and hatred and never stop until it is eradicated.

Racism isn’t  just limited to African Americans. What about Latinos? What about women? What about the Jews? What about every single minority in America that has to stay quiet and behave and have condescension and disgust shoved down their throats as they are dared to say anything other than, “Thank you, may I have another?” Because to do anything other than that could result in retaliation. Mutiny. Revolt. Civil war. But we’re getting to a point where something has to change.

Have you been to the south? In the south, the confederate flag flies proudly. People have no qualms about using ethnic slurs out in public, loud and some ignorantly proud. I know this happens everywhere in the United States but in the south it is particularly tolerated. Racism is so hateful to me that I have moved beyond wanting tolerance, I am demanding equality for all human beings.

Caucasians feel as if the minorities are stealing their country, their jobs and their women from them. But I have news for you; America is made up of every single race in the world. There is no “pure” race. There is no superior race because we are all mixed and we are all humans so like it or not, we are all equal in our value as human beings. Are some people better than others? Sure, but that has nothing to do with race, religion or sexual preference and if you think it does, then, my friend, you are not one of the better people.

Jon Stewart said he is sad. The entire country is momentarily wrought with sadness. Me, I’m sad but mostly I’m pissed off. I am fighting mad because I can’t understand how in 2015 this is still happening? How can we look ourselves in the mirror knowing that we are allowing this to happen over and over again, even making excuses for the behavior? How can people still treat other PEOPLE as less than?

What kind of upbringing did Dylann Roof have that made it all right in his head to walk into a house of God and murder innocent, unsuspecting, defenseless people? How do you pull a trigger and snuff out a person’s life for no other reason than the color of their skin? What kind of monster must you be? Look in the mirror, if it takes anything less than the rest of your entire life to get over this…you are part of the problem.

Stop feeling sad and starting feeling mad. Start feeling indignant and lower your tolerance for this kind of bigotry. I feel sick and vulnerable walking around in a world where at any moment someone can shoot someone else dead, rape them, maim them in public, no less, and suffer no real fear of consequence.

Prison is not a deserved consequence because it is too good for this type of murderer. He has already done the damage. He has already destroyed 9 families. That can’t be undone. The prisons are filled with young African American men put there by a society who thinks they belong in cages. I hope they put Dylann Roof in general population and I hope that he gets the justice that he deserves.

Our current racial situation is dire.

 

“Gaping Racial wound that will not heal, yet we pretend that it does not exist!”

 

“I’m confident though by acknowledging it, by staring into that and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jack shit!” Jon Stewart

I’m starting to feel like the civil rights victories of the 60’s were nothing but a ruse to pacify the unsettled and uncooperative militants who had the balls to fight for equality. I’m beginning to feel like equality in the United States is a farce.

The problem of race in America is not a new one. Our country is a menagerie of different people from different countries from around the world. The only thing we have in common is that we are all from some place else. We are every shade of the rainbow. In theory, we should be the happiest and most evolved place in the world. Instead, we still hate what we can’t personally identify with. Rather than embrace difference, we try to eradicate it. I say no more.

Please don’t let your outrage at this racist murderer fade. Don’t let the Charleston Massacre be forgotten. Don’t let these innocent men and women have died in vain like so many before them. We’ve been here before, let’s not be here again.

What will you do to help heal the gaping racial wound that exists in America?

How do we prevent another Charleston Shooting?

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Unarmed suspect shot by police officer, Walter Scott, Michael Slager, North Charleston, South Carolina, Shooting, Police, brutality, racism, fear

Yet another African American man, Walter Scott, has been shot dead in the streets. Hearing this saddens me but seeing the video infuriates me. How many people have to die before we change what we will accept from law enforcement, from the justice system and from ourselves?

A 50-year-old black man was pulled over for a broken taillight in North Charleston, South Carolina. The officer, Michael T.Slager, tasered Walter Scott who had warrants out for his arrest for not paying child support. Scott ran after being tasered. The police officer followed in pursuit on foot and then shot the unarmed man 8 times, in the back. Would he have done the same if it had been a 50-year-old white man?

Then, it appears from the video, that the officer drops the taser by Scott. The same taser gun that the officer said the man had on his person; the very reason he felt threatened enough to shoot him. To add insult to grave injury, Walter Scott was left lying on the ground; face down, bleeding out while not one of the officers attempted to perform CPR on him. Officer Slager is being charged with murder. I’m glad. Still, there is no explanation for these events that can make any of this right for me. If seeing is believing, I’ve seen enough.

My belief is this white cops are shooting black suspects because they are afraid of them. I don’t know if it’s because of some residual guilt over the inhumane way that most Caucasians have treated African Americans throughout history, instilled racism from their upbringing or just plain old ignorance that allows them to treat black people as less than and still sleep at night. Whatever the reason, I believe that some white people are genuinely afraid of black people simply because of the color of their skin.

On the flip-side, I believe African Americans run from Caucasian officers because they are afraid of them too; afraid that their fear will cause them to overreact and use excessive force.Fear that their lack of respect for their basic human rights could put them in imminent danger. If history tells us anything, they’re not wrong. We’ve seen it happen. It’s not unimaginable. This is just my theory.

How many more Walter Scott incidents can we tolerate?

Everything about this sickens me, however, it no longer shocks me. This is nothing new. The only thing that’s changed is that everyone has a camera with a phone that takes video and social media allows us to share these stories instantaneously with remarkable reach. This has been happening for centuries and anyone who believes it hasn’t is fooling themselves. We are being forced to face the reality of our brutality. You can no longer be blissfully ignorant about the world because the truth is caught on video and shown to us. To say you didn’t know it was happening today, is to be a liar.

I grew up in an African American neighborhood and in my world, this is how the cops have always treated African Americans. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. The world is an unfair place where fear causes men to do unspeakable acts in the name of self-preservation. Fear is a very effective motivator, even when it’s completely unfounded.

I’m not saying that all cops are racist or bad people. Quite the opposite. There are many law enforcement officers who risk their life every single day to serve and protect their community but there are a few small men with narrow minds, who function on fear and power and have guns. These are the ones who make me afraid. The ones who can be more compassionate to a dog in the street than a dying man lying in front of them. Those who lack humanity and human compassion scare me the most.

We know there is a problem. No human being should be shot dead in the street. I don’t care what color, creed, race, religion or sexual preference you have. We need to change. How many mothers have to lose their children? How many children have to lose their fathers? How many lives have to be snuffed out before it all adds up to too much?

In my book, one dead human being in the street is too many. We have to stop letting fear and ignorance govern our reactions. Collectively as the human race, we need to say no more and develop a zero tolerance policy for the brutality and abuse of power that we currently accept as status quo. This is unacceptable. This is not the world that I want for my children. Our children deserve better.

What are your thoughts on the Walter Scott shooting?

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#crimingwhilewhite, racism, Ferguson, white privilege

In an effort to go color blind, the world has missed an opportunity. Saying that you don’t see color, that you only see people is wonderful in theory but the fact of the matter is that, color does matter, especially to those who are of color. Underneath it we are all human beings and what a wonderful world it would be if everyone could live that way but everyone doesn’t and by denying that the experience for those of color is no different than that of white privilege is just crazy and, quite frankly, may be the most insulting thing of all. The privilege of living your life without being first assumed to be a criminal is something most take for granted.

I’m not African American. I can’t pretend to know how it must feel to be an African American man, especially with the contentious history with white America. I did however grow up in a predominantly African American neighborhood, I am Latina, I am a woman and just about as blue-collar as they come. I’ve had a taste of what it feels like to not be white in America and it doesn’t feel good. In some cases, it is more than being treated as less than, it’s down right scary.

The very word minority means being few in numbers, less than the majority. When you are of color, it’s “their” (to borrow a word from my privileged friends) world and the rest of us are just trying to survive in it. We are raised knowing this. We accept this and whenever we get any crazy ideas that we are equal, someone is always there to laugh in our face or put is back into our place. We have to work twice as hard to just be “equal”.

If you are reading this and you have never felt less than (believe me, you can be Caucasian and feel this way too but there is a certain level of entitlement that comes with having alabaster skin) I am happy for you because it is demeaning. It’s like being caged and silenced. Imagine having to always try to prove yourself as worthy. Imagine praying that people can see past the color of your skin and get to know you the person before putting you in a box because of what you look like. If you do dare to be “equal” to deem yourself worthy of a better life, be prepared to fight the uphill battle of your life. It won’t be easy and you will be tattered and torn by the time you reach the top but it will be worth it.

The thing is you can’t hide the color of your skin. Before you ever open your mouth or say a word, the world has already judged you on your skin color. It doesn’t matter who you are, we all have preconceived notions. We can’t help where we came from but we can help where we are going. We can choose to treat people equal. We can choose to judge people on their merits and not on the color of their skin.

The preconceived notions are what continue to kill our children. I hate to say it but I think when people see color, that color is automatically associated with a stereotype. It doesn’t matter what’s real and what’s not because the stereotype is ingrained and naturally believed. The volatile reaction to civil rights for all is born of the fear that we might actually be equal to the people we feel better than.Privilege only exists because one group is allowed to diminish the worth of another.

I grew up in the Chicagoland area and there are many people of different ethnic backgrounds but still if Hispanic or African American youths are seen in a group, they must be up to no good. They must be gang bangers, carjackers, up to no good criminals. In these areas, we know our boundaries. We keep to certain neighborhoods, where we belong. We know that veering outside of those boundaries could mean trouble for us; like accidentally being shot or harassed by the cops. Never mind the south, we try to stay north of the Mason Dixon line because confederate flags still fly proudly in the south. I don’t know about you but I’ve always seen that as sort of a warning sign. Do not enter. Turn back now.

I’m not making this up. This is the truth for many. How many young people have to die for us to say no more? Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and etc, etcetera. I could go on for days. Just watch the news. White privilege has been around as long as our country has. It started with the Native Americans. We have to choose to change it; to raise our children with bellies full of equality and respect for other human beings. Color should not be a consideration in matters of love and humanity.

The country is outraged and talking about racism today and that is wonderful but in a few weeks, it will fade away and the people of color will be abandoned once again by their current day freedom riders and be once again alone to face the bigots who would just assume shoot them in the face then ask questions. The saddest part of all, there are still people who will argue that the cops were within their rights to shoot these boys dead.I am outraged. Stop being bullies.

Here is where we differ.

I don’t believe that any boy, child, man, woman or girl should be shot dead in the street like an animal. I believe in justice and equality for everyone. To put it simply, being black or brown is not a crime and being white doesn’t make you exempt from moral accountability. If you shoot, we bleed, we die…whether you care or not.

Check out the #CrimingWhileWhite hastag on Twitter if you don’t believe me. Racial profiling is deadly. Ask yourself, are you white enough to pass their skin color test? If not, you might want to pay attention to the state of the world and your part in it. Be better.

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Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business

What do you think of when you hear the word Latina?

The stereotypes are out of control. In fact, if you Google “Latina” every photo is of a hot, caramel colored girl in a tiny bikini, sometimes leaning over a lowrider or laying in bed. Oh and there are a couple of pregnant women surrounded by 12 kids. Go ahead. There is nothing you can say that will shock me. My husband likes to joke that he thought I’d be a little more Sophia Vergara and a little less Julie Bowen of Modern Family.

Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business

 

We have all heard the Latina stereotypes: voluptuous, passionate and hot-tempered Latinas. We fight to make up. We have lots of kids because of all the sex and Catholic refusal to believe in birth control. We all have thick accents and we live to serve our controlling husbands and walk our Chihuahua dogs. When we are not in the kitchen cooking from scratch in our high heels, we are in the bedroom working on another bebé.  We are all nannies and mothers. You could believe this and it could be true in some cases, because even a broken clock is right twice a day but mostly, you would be dead wrong.

Latina is not a color.I have been assumed to be everything but Latina on several occasions: Caucasian is the immediate go to, if they notice that I don’t exactly fit the stereotype for Latina. I have dark brown hair, light brown eyes, fair-skin and not immediately identifiable features. My mom is Southern by way of Ireland, France, Italy, England and the Cherokee nation. Then the guessing begins. Italian? Greek? Jewish? It makes me feel as if those guessing think I’m anything other than what I actually am: Latina on my father’s side.

OK, I am just going to say it, I am a fair skinned Latina woman; possibly the whitest Latina you may well ever meet. I get it. It might be a little bit confusing for those who don’t realize that, like every other race, we come in every single color of the rainbow, with different combinations of hair and eye color and varying degrees of assimilation. We are not all the same. We don’t look the same. We don’t talk the same. We don’t come from the same place and we certainly, don’t all fit some concocted cartoonish stereotype. My daughters are beautiful with blonde hair and blue eyes, if you ask them what they are, they will tell you, “I am Latina!” Because, they are and it’s that simple.

Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business, motherhood, raising daughters

Some are true. I think as a group many of us are loud, passionate people who place a great value on the family unit but not all of us.  Many of us are determined, handworkers who demand respect and take pride in our work, no matter how menial the task. We want to succeed and we’ve always had to work for it; from the farms to gaining respect in a new country so we are not afraid to work our asses off for what we want.

For many of us, failure is not an option. When, in business, I am asked to be “more” Latina that bothers me. I am not insulted because I am proud of being Latina. But I am offended that you have the nerve to ask me to prove that I fit into YOUR idea of who I should be. How do I quantify myself to meet your expectations? Would you ask a homosexual to be “more gay” or an African-American to be “more black”? I don’t think so.

I totally get that if I market myself as a Latina blogger, people expect me to be Latina and I am. It took me a long time to take ownership of that because I had spent so much time in my life feeling like I had to prove it. But when you ask me to be “more Latina” that insinuates that you don’t want me to be Latina, you want me to fit some misguided idea that you have of what it is to be “Latina”.You want more “spice”. That bothers me.

Latina, Latinas, Stereotypes, DEvious maids, Latinos, racism, business I am first generation Mexican American. I speak Spanish. I grew up immersed in the Latino culture. I may not have been born in Mexico, but my father was. I will not apologize for not meeting your stereotype. I don’t speak with an accent and every thing I do is not overtly “Latin” in nature because you know what Latin people are? We are just PEOPLE, just like you.

Well, maybe not like you (the person asking Latinos to prove their Latino-ness) because I am pretty sure you are an asshole and you might even be a little bit of a racist, or just really ignorant to my culture. We are not all built like Sophia Vergara (though I wish we were). We are not all oversexed, tequila drinking, hot-tempered caramel colored taco eaters who dance Cumbia. Well, mostly I am, with the exception of the caramel colored skin but many are not.

 

What’s the stupidest thing anyone has ever asked you based on a stereotype Latina or otherwise?

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Coca-Cola, racism,Super Bowl, America the Beautiful

If you were honestly offended by the Coca-Cola Super Bowl ad, do us both a favor and unfriend  or unfollow me now.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I don’t get it. Anyone offended by a commercial conveying the idea of our America as a melting pot of many different cultures, races and religions, is offended by my very existence so do us both a favor and take your racism and bigotry and go away. I don’t want you here.

When I saw the Coke commercial I thought it was beautiful for a couple different reasons. One, it was reminiscent of the Hilltop Coke commercial I grew up watching and two; it shows the United States as a Utopia where everyone lives in peace, harmony and unity; bound by love and acceptance.

The hilltop Coke commercial was the one with all the young people on a hilltop in Italy singing about furnishing the world with love and buying one another a Coke. It was beautiful. It was about togetherness and acceptance and world peace and free love and oh, yeah, Coke.  The commercial was all in English but the people were distinctly different from all over the world. I don’t remember the survivalists and Aryan nation being up in arms then.

This year’s Coke Super Bowl ad was the exact same thing 43 years later. You’d think evolution would have made this commercial less controversial. Coca-Cola is an international product. The United States is a melting pot of many different races, religions and cultures. We are a country of tolerance. Unfortunately, Coke overestimated the American people because apparently we are not beautiful at all. After last night’s reaction to America the Beautiful, in fact, I would say we are downright ugly.

I am a product of that melting pot. I am Mexican, Spanish, English, French, Italian, Irish and Cherokee. I am proud to be all those things. I am proud to be a part of a country that allowed this to happen. I am proud to be able to experience the entire world from my home state of Indiana. I love experiencing different cultures and people. I like being able to introduce my daughters to different people and cultures, races, religions, languages and foods. Isn’t that what makes this country great? Who wants to live in a vanilla world?

Last night’s commercial was world peace. What every single fucking Miss America has wished for since the beginning of Miss America. It was evolution through tolerance; it was a better world than reality allows for…apparently. I am appalled at the social media attack on the Coke commercial and if you were part of it, quite frankly, we can’t be friends because I have apparently, evolved past where you are or may ever get to be.

The Coca-Cola commercial was a testament to the tolerance and beauty of the United States and anyone who is against that or too stupid to understand that the United States is made up of more than just Anglo-Americans, maybe Coke should rethink their opinion of Americans not the other way around.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, unless you are a Native American…you too are a foreigner. English is not the language of the original natives, but you don’t hear me complaining about you. I’d like to buy the world a Coke and a smile because life is too short for all this hatred. Underneath it all, the color of our skin, the language we speak, the food we eat, the ethnicity we originated from, the God we worship, all that aside, we are all just humans trying to survive this world.

What did you think of the Coca-Cola America the Beautiful commercial?

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racism,Richard Cohen,biracial children, interracial marriage, throat punch thursday

Yesterday, I had an article come across my tread about Richard Cohen, a writer for the Washington Post, who declared…

Today’s GOP is not racist, as Harry Belafonte alleged about the tea party, but it is deeply troubled — about the expansion of government, about immigration, about secularism, about the mainstreaming of what used to be the avant-garde. People with conventional views must repress a gag reflex when considering the mayor-elect of New York — a white man married to a black woman and with two biracial children. (Should I mention that Bill de Blasio’s wife, Chirlane McCray, used to be a lesbian?) This family represents the cultural changes that have enveloped parts — but not all — of America. To cultural conservatives, this doesn’t look like their country at all.

If you ask me, Bill de Blasio sounds like a man who sees beyond the surface and does not judge people on what they appear to be but for what they actually are beneath the exterior, superficial appearance. I went to the source and read the entire article, in Richard Cohen’s own words. After carefully reading the piece, I began to second guess whether or not he was actually a racist or if he was just the victim of misunderstanding and salacious headlines. Been there, done that. Then, I read this paragraph…

Iowa not only is a serious obstacle for Christie and other Republican moderates, it also suggests something more ominous: the Dixiecrats of old. Officially the States’ Rights Democratic Party, they were breakaway Democrats whose primary issue was racial segregation. In its cause, they ran their own presidential candidate, Strom Thurmond, and almost cost Harry Truman the 1948 election. They didn’t care. Their objective was not to win — although that would have been nice — but to retain institutional, legal racism. They saw a way of life under attack and they feared its loss.

And just like that all doubts were removed. Because with him making that one little remark, “ although that would have been nice” he confirmed that he, in fact, is opposed to equality and biracial marriage and for legal racism.  He’s a racist.

I am the product of a biracial marriage. My children are the product of a biracial marriage. I am trying to raise my children in the United States; a country that is supposed to be a melting pot of cultures and color, but still, there is racism and the them and us mentality lives on.

Richard Cohen,biracial children, interracial marriage, throat punch thursday, racism

When my mother married my father in Virginia in 1972, 41 years ago, she took my father to meet her Grandfather who had helped raise her. He had not come to their small wedding so she took her groom to meet him. He told her that she might as well have married a n*gger and promptly slammed the door in her face. I cringe every time I even think of him using the n word because it wreaks of so much ignorance and somewhere that asshole’s blood runs through my veins.*Hangs head in shame*

I am sure after he shut the door he threw up in his mouth a little. Too bad he didn’t choke on it. Maybe he did, how would I know? I never met him. This has been our legacy. My mother was devastated and never saw her grandfather again because she didn’t want her children around that. She protected us but to the racists she was even more disgusting than my father because she chose to be with him. She chose someone her grandfather felt was less than her; a poor mountain girl from a divorced family in the south with nothing, at all. He made that assumption based on the color of my father’s skin. He didn’t care that they loved one another or that she was happy. He only cared that it wasn’t what he thought was traditional. My mom, the damn dirty liberal she was. I’d like to think people have evolved since 1972 but I honestly think we are in a state of devolution, if Richard Cohen and the Iowa Tea Party are any indication.

Here’s the problem, aside from the fact that humans are humans and as such we are all created equal, we live in a country where everyone is mixed.  I mean how many of you are English, just English? Hell, I don’t even think most of the people in England are pure English unless they are royalty. I mean if we are going to be literal, if you are not American Indian, you are not native. Guess what, I am 1/16th Cherokee. So, aren’t I more American than someone who came over on the Mayflower?

Apparently, the issue most conservatives have which causes them to vomit in their mouths a little bit is when they see actual colors mixing because you can’t hide that. You can’t hide from the color of your skin, no matter how ashamed or self-loathing the right wing conservatives try to make you feel. It announces itself before you ever enter the room.

Richard Cohen,biracial children, interracial marriage, throat punch thursday, racism

This sort of mentality makes me sick and it makes me afraid for my children. People who see others as less important, somehow less human than themselves, also see those same people as disposable threats. What happens when we are all so mixed up that you can no longer identify people by their colors? Do we feel betrayed or duped because we didn’t know that we were supposed to be throwing up in our own mouths with disgust because two people blindly fell in love with a human and not a color of skin?

Personally, I am looking forward to the day when the entire country is a beautiful shade of café au lait. Life is not black and white; it’s not that simple. Humans are complicated. But there is one thing that is clear, I want better for my daughters. I never want them to have to hang their heads in shame for being Latina. I want them to live in a world where racists are the minority and are the ones hanging their heads in shame for their despicable behaviors. If you are a racist, I pity you because there is a whole group of people that you are cheating yourself from knowing simply based on the color of their skin.

Today, my throat punch goes to Richard Cohen for writing such an offensive piece, the Washington Post for employing such a racist pig and to all those like Mr.Cohen who think people should be separated by color like laundry instead of standing shoulder to shoulder, intermingling and learning from one another. I want better for my girls.

What do you think about Richard Cohen and his take on race and the tea Party?

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Trayvon Martin, George ZImmerman, Racism, Bigotry

Throat Punch Thursday,Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman, Sanford Florida

Trayvon Martin this one’s for you

This week’s Throat Punch is being given out in honor of Trayvon Martin. As a mother, my heart aches for Trayvon Martin’s parents. As a human, I am outraged. As a minority, I am fighting mad. This week’s Throat Punch is awarded to George Zimmerman the vigilante bigot who thought it was appropriate to shoot a boy in cold blood for the simple fact that the color of his skin was brown. I know that bigots are afraid of anyone different, especially when the packaging is a darker shade or two than their own skin. This is not the first time this has happened nor do I suspect this will be the last.

Trayvon Martin, George ZImmerman, Racism, Bigotry

Trayvon Martin was a Good Kid

Trayvon Martin, from all accounts, was a good kid who happened to come across a not so good adult with a trigger happy finger. I can’t imagine the pain and anger that Trayvon Martin’s parents feel at the death of their son nor do I ever want to know it. Isn’t every parent’s biggest fear that their child is going to come into harms way? A rogue drunken driver, a stray bullet, a crazed assailant, cancer, abduction, stranger danger, choking on a raisin, getting hit by a car, wrecking while texting? There are so many ways that we worry about our children getting into harms way, every day.  We don’t expect simply walking home from the store to be a particularly dangerous scenario. Walking home from the store should not be deadly, should it?

What is this world coming to that we can tolerate this sort of behavior? How can we stomach it as a people? Zimmerman says that it was self- defense. Evidence proves otherwise. Just because he was a racist who felt threatened by the color of a boy’s skin is not a legitimate reason for shooting Trayvon Martin dead and robbing his parents of their son forever. There will never be any little Trayvon Martin’s running to his mother’s lap. She will not see her son graduate from school. She will not get to dance the Mother/ son dance at Trayvon’s wedding.  She will not get to see the man her son was supposed to become. She will never get to know that man. He will not be there in her old age to hold her hand and comfort her at the end. Now, his parents are left with a giant void in their chest where their heart used to be. The great joy they once knew upon seeing that baby Trayvon  Martin be born has been replaced by pain and hatred. Hatred for George Zimmerman.

Nothing can make this right. Apparently, the big debate now is whether or not  George Zimmerman used a racial slur when addressing Trayvon Martin. Truly, the fact remains, whether he used a slur or not, that he is a bigot and shot Trayvon Martin in cold blood for no other reason that he felt threatened. Zimmerman was threatened for the simple fact that he had a predisposed notion to feel afraid of black men. This is racism, whether there is a slur attached or not. The sentiment is the same. The result the same. Trayvon Martin is still dead.

Trayvon Martin may you Rest in Peace

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