Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Race Post

Someone said something racist to me today.

Totally not ready for it, and I really don't know how to feel about it.
Fact is, I'm not even sure how racist it really was. Nonetheless, something was said.
We weren't in confidence and it wasn't one of those "look over your shoulder, make sure no one is around" type conversations (the difference being blatant ignorance vs. calculated commentary, of which neither is any better than the other).
We definitely don't know each other that well at all, but I'm sure to see this person again.
Yet out of the blue, this person said something offensive about Mexican people.
I'm going to totally assume that this person didn't know I'm part Mexican, hell, I'm the least Mexican, Mexican...probably ever. I mean, for kicks I'll ask acquaintances what they think my ethnicity is and the responses I get usually look something like this:
  1. Italian
  2. Greek
  3. Iranian
But that doesn't mean I'm not proud of Mexican people or feel it's OK to continuously shit on them. And boy do Mexicans get shat on.
You never hear "those white guys were so dirty" or "drunk white people are gross," but substitute "white" for "black" or "mexican" and all the sudden it sounds like something you've heard before.
Now I'm sure there are people who have made careers on their theories of why this is. I believe it is the direct effect or at the very least, a symptom of institutionalized racism. Why Bandaids have their peachy color, why crayola had a pink-ish "Flesh" color until 1962, literally called FLESH on the label, and "Indian Red" until 1999. Peachy-white is so normal, everyday, made for the masses...anything else is just, dirty, gross. What has happened is we've essentially been conditioned for years by good Ol' 'Murican institutions that "hey, racism is A-OK."
But let me step down from my high horse for a moment.
I am not innocent in all of this. Everyone has been guilty at one point or another to having a racially driven stereotypical thought about another person. It sucks, but its the truth. It just cuts a little deeper when a comment or action is made about you or the ethnic background you identify with.

I still don't really know how I feel about it, I just know I better come up with something REAL funny for the next one.

1 comment:

*Ryan* said...

I do have to admit that I kinda half-assed this post. Couldn't decide whether to get right into specifics or paint with broad general strokes, so it came out like how not quite committing to attack the net in tennis gets you a forehand to the balls.

But just to reiterate, here is just another example of it being ok to point, laugh and humiliate anything non-white...