Last week was International Blog Against Racism week. Between the kids, the critters, the job, and Mr. Coffee, I ended up saying nothing. I was just too busy. But of course, there are folks out there whose non-fiction is much more passionate and elegant than my own when it comes to this subject. Still….
There were a few things I thought about writing about.
As I poke about, looking into the possibility of tribal registration*, I thought about writing about how, technically, I am non-white. Yet 95% of the time, I am perceived as such. I think of that 5% of the time that I am NOT perceived as white as a blessing. Nothing will open your eyes to your own privilege like having it ripped away from time to time. So, this makes me more compassionate – something I think is worth being.
Still, having elderly Puerto Rican men chew me out for not speaking Spanish isn’t particularly painful, since I am not Puerto Rican. Getting spit on for being Turkish while in Austria was unpleasant, but again, not painful; I am not Turkish. An experience that was painful was when, years ago, a co-worker spent a LOT of time telling my boss that I was lazy and came to work drunk. Neither statement was true, but he felt he knew the truth by LOOKING at me.
Can you imagine dealing with something like that every day? I can’t. But it happens to plenty of people – all the time. This is part of the point of my “Other People’s Stories” series (which I will get back to this week – promise). That is, that the whole “anyone can do anything”; “we create reality” philosophy tends to support the status quo and dismiss the reality of injustice in the world. It seems especially easy for some folks to dismiss the subtle injustices that wear a soul down.
I also thought about writing about the attacks on Dr. Regina Benjamin’s weight – something I believe to be fueled by sexism, racism, and classism. The classism hits me the hardest – it seems like it’s OK to have working class roots as long as you don’t LOOK like you do, and hell, she’s built just like my MOM (and me in 10 years). Mom is STURDY but not fat. And of course, we women are so often judged by our looks. I don’t feel qualified to discuss the racial aspect of this, but I feel like it’s there.
So, did anyone who visits me write anything for Blog Against Racism week? If so, let me know and I’ll link back to you, providing it’s appropriate.
I hope you are all having a lovely week this week. I need to practice writing, and my skills need to be honed, so I will be back soon.
* If ANYONE out there has had good luck tracing their MATRILINEAL ancestry, I am open to advice on how to track down information.