Looking at yourself through others’ eyes

29 04 2012

One of the most interesting thing I have realized while being an alien in the US is how my culture or other similar cultures are viewed and how history is interpreted differently depending on the point of view of the host culture.

It is interesting to find how others see your culture and how their and your perceptions change with knowledge and exposure to others. You are so used to your culture and your language and when you hear how other’s see it, Read the rest of this entry »


Being from neither here nor there

13 09 2008

I was reading an essay about growing up Native American, and it blew my mind. The struggles that Native Americans go through living in and out of two very contrasting cultures, almost opposites. I cannot begin to comprehend the depth of the search  for an real identity, for who they really are.

Let me start with a little bit of history. You live in a farm, this farm has been in your family for generations, all of the sudden some people show up and they announce that they are moving into you house; These people are armed and take over you house and most of you land, they let you live with you family in a acre of land. Then other people show up, and they keep distributing your land, the land of your ancestors, among themselves, and you find yourself limited to less of a yard to live in. These people have the idea that you do not know how to properly manage your assets, so they also take your livestock, your bank account, etc. Some of your family members refuse and they are tortured, imprisoned or killed. The author had a similar metaphor, which I thought was very poignant, to describe this period in history that has been called “Colonization” I don’t believe that it is the right word.

I have heard that the winner gets to write the history of what happened; but I am still appalled when I see those movies called westerns where the Indians are the savages, and the settlers that come and take their land and kill them, are the good guys and the victims of the so called savages.

Since that time of “colonization” there has been a relentless battle to strip the Native American from their culture (I guess the only thing that could not be taken). The famous boarding schools to civilize them, and the imposition of the European culture, to name just two.

So now a days, when a child is born Native American, at home they might still have their traditions, their vision of life, their views on family, community, etc. When these children go into the outside world, they encounter a culture that is so different and is almost opposite to theirs; they have to live in this dichotomy of two conflicting worlds, within themselves. To top this off, the messages in the outside world portrait your culture as something to be rejected, with so many negative stereotypes that can lead to selfhatetred. What a position to be in, I cannot even start to imagine or put myself in their shoes.

I do understand that African Americans, Asian, Latinos and other cultures might go through a similar experience, probably all to different degrees. I don’t want to minimize any of them, because every experience is different and to each of us our own is the most important, or bigger or greater.

I wanted to bring this up to make you think. When you see somebody that does not fit the mold, that doesn’t look like you, that doesn’t talk like you, or has a different view of life, stop and take a second to get to know them, you might learn a whole lot and enrich yourself in the process. They might be going throught what the Native Americans go through. They might be struggling to understand this world. Things aren’t always what they seem.

How to Solve Illegal Immigration

26 02 2008

This is a very interesting take on immigration. The video is a bit long, but is worth watching, enjoy. Let me know what you think…

My People vs Your People, Divide and Conquer

27 01 2008

As I said in previous postings, I am baffled by race relations in the US. I can’t understand how we keep falling for the old trick of divide and conquer. Minorities are divided fighting for the scraps, instead of forming a united front. I just can’t understand why they don’t see it. If you want to dominate an enemy, what is the best way of doing it? Have them fight among themselves. They won’t have enough time or energy to fight against us….thuuuu.

I see this situation like this; the proverbial MAN throws some scraps out to keep the dogs happy. The dogs are the minorities. Asians are a small, nonthreatening dog,  that manages to eat and even get into the house and get better things without barking or grouling. Arabs are a new dog that used to pass as others and wasn’t seen as much of a threat. African Americans are a big strong dog that growls and has a loud bark, gets attention, it is feared and can bully himself a good piece of the scrap. Latinos or Hispanics are a younger dog that is growing, it is starting to realize it can bark and growl, the African American dog fears that this dog can take its place of dominance and its piece of the famous pie. 

If all of these minority “dogs” banded together in a pack, they could work as a team and get an actual piece of the pie, share the pie and not fight for scraps.

In a January 2004 report, Claud Anderson, president of the black think tank Harvest Institute, claimed that Hispanic immigrants come to this country for the “public service benefits available to them because of the Black Civil  Rights Movement.” This man claims there is a Hispanic conspiracy to reproduce and multiply to surpass African Americans in number and take their place in American society.

The Detroit city council commissioned a $112,000 economic development study from Anderson. His recommendation was that the city would spend $30 million to develop something called “African Town” — an inner-city business enclave created for blacks that would keep them from spending money in immigrant businesses. In July of 2004 Detroit City Council passed a resolution approving African Town and the $30 million in casino revenues for grants and low-interest loans. This proposal meant that the requirement to receive funding to start a business would be being African American.

more on that here http://www.theoaklandpress.com/stories/100704/opi_
 and here http://keepingfamilyfirst.blogspot.com/2004/10/detroit-we-are-african-town.html

I have been told by numerous African Americans to beware of white people, that they always have ulterior motives. That they are racist and that they will always put me down. But my experience has been quite the opposite. I have been put down and mistreated by African Americans that assume that because I am Latina I have no education and I should be in a position of servitude. They are big on the dividing thing.

I have had many experiences especially with African American women. One time I accompanied my husband to get a haircut, the woman cutting his hair was African American, she was all over him, flirting and being very loud. I was not paying much attention, so she came to me and said defiantly that she was flirting with “my man”, I smiled and said yeah. I am not a jealous person, and I did not feel threaten by her, and she did not like that. After a while she realized I wasn’t buying what she was selling, I was not going to confront and she stopped. I have to add that my husband has dark skin, he is not black or African American.

 I went to an African American community center to provide a service and when I walked in, the attendant looked at me and just said “whaaat?” I replied with a smile that was bringing information about a free service for the community center and she looked at me up and down and said, “you can leave it there if you want, I don’t care”.

I work for a place that mostly serves African Americans, it is comprise of mostly African Americans. I have had a lot of this type of encounters, and my coworkers usually say, “they must have thought you were white”. I wonder, is that a good reason to treat somebody you have never met poorly?  I have worked in the same way in Arab, Indian, Latino, Asian, Russian, communities and I have never received such treatment. Are immigrant communities more appreciative or less racist?

 I cannot say this has been my experience will all African Americans, I have met wonderful caring people along the way. I have also met very nice, White or Caucasians, Mexicans, Lebanese, Korean, Nigerian, Chinese, Indian, Arab, Peruvian, Chaldean, Japanese, Ghanian, Haitian, Russian, Turkish, Puerto Rican, Somali, Jordanian people.

I know African Americans have been thru a lot and are still dealing with external and internal racism. I also understand that it is hard to let go. But would you want the same pain and resentment in your children’s hearts. Why continue to perpetuate and do unto others what has been done to you?

I can also see that there is lot of fear in statement like Mr. Anderson’s. There is a fear of the unknown that us Aliens experiment when coming to a new world and the host world may feel of us, our cultures, our language and our intentions.

I will like to remind you I come in Peace…

The history will continue to repeat itself if we don’t do things differently. We can’t expect different results if we continue to do the same things the same way.