What I have learned

10 10 2010

I recently quitted my job and I had a weird exit interview. Needless to say, I was my polite self and did not say what was on my mind, partly out of respect for my elders, partly because I knew by experience that whatever I said would not make a difference and because the “boss” could still cause trouble for me (self-preservation)

I was asked by somebody in the company to talk about my “diversity experience”  and this got me thinking of what would I say. So I will share with you, what I did not share with them.

I had to think hard because I felt betrayed when I realized I had been lied, used and manipulated for a long time. For those of you that have read since the beginning  you may know my struggles to understand the racial make up of this country and I happen to end up working in the eye of a racial storm; it felt like that to me. I was overwhelmed and naive.

I can say I learned a lot, I acquired new skills, I learned how to navigate the company and I grew as a person. I had some good times when I thought I belonged and had friends, untill they turned out to be using me as a political/racial pawn.

I learned what it felt to be discriminated against because of  my perceived/assigned race. By my coworkers and the clients we served. I was excluded because I was not of the appropriate race, I constantly hear racially charged comments against Latinos, Asians but the favorite was the evil White people. Many times some of our clients were rude, would not speak to me or reject me all together because they thought I was white.

I learned that racism is not Read the rest of this entry »

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Alien clarification… on Dumb questions post

16 04 2008

Recently I wrote a post called Dumb questions people ask me. Some people asked me to do Dumb questions part 2, while thinking about it I received a comment that stated that “the ‘country’ is not ignorant”, so I felt I needed to clarify.

I don’t think the country is ignorant, I do not think that the people who asked the questions are stupid, they are miss informed. Judging the entire country by the actions of a few is ridiculous to me. That got me thinking that this would be like saying that because some white people are racist, therefore all whites are racist, or that because there are Black men in jail for committing crimes I should be afraid of all Black men, or that because there are some Mexican gangs I should assume that all Latinos are in gangs.

Then I realized that some people think like that, BIG, humongous generalizations that really don’t apply to the group, but just to a few. That helped me understand this person and where he/she was coming from. I have to thank him or her, for helping me figure this out. It helps me understand why when any of the other Latinas in my office says something I get in trouble too. We are like the Borg, sharing the same brain…;)

I think ignorance can be found everywhere and anywhere, no country, religion, race, or social group has the exclusive on either knowledge or ignorance. My posting had the attempt to be amusing and maybe to make people check their own assumptions, but never to try to make “the country” look stupid. I think nobody can accomplish that task, there is enough proof to the contrary.

Only thinking of oneself or LOCAL, seems narrow minded to me. One of the purposes of my blog is to open a mind, if only a sliver, to the views from the other side. Help people see how the other thinks or views the world.

I think than I am no better than you and you are no better than me, we are the same but different and learning about each other is enriching, makes us better.





Dumb questions people ask me

10 04 2008

 

 

This are questions and statements people make that are just dumb!

 

  • When they heard me speaking Spanish, people have asked me where I learned how to speak Mexican?

  • When I say I come from South America, some say “what part of the south, Alabama, Mississippi?”     

     

  • Can you help me find a good gardener?    

     

  • People asked me what village do I come from and they cannot believe that there are cities, buildings, highways, subway system, or stock exchange where I come from.

     

     

  • Someone asked “can you tell me how to spot an illegal immigrant?”    
          

     

  • Most people assume that Latin America is just Mexico. Hello, there are 20 countries and they are not jungle, with snaked and natives. There are very distict cultures as well.  
          

     

  • I was asked if my south American country was next to Spain…since I spoke Spanish.
    When I explained that South America and Spain where separated by the Atlantic,
     this person did not believe the Atlantic ocean was that big of a distance!?!?!    

     

  •  Someone wondered why the US was the only country in the world that was divided into states; she thought the other countries were not divided at all.    

     

  • Since you come from Latin American what language do you speak, Latin?
     
     
     

     





Homophobia

23 03 2008

I grew up in a homophobic culture, I have never considered myself that, but after living here for a while I can say I was a homo-ignorant.

I have always thought that I had an open mind, but since I moved to the US I have realized how much more it has and could open. I can really appreciate the openness that I perceive here toward the LGBT community.

Not too long ago I was at a diversity summit and I was talking with the man that was heading the LGBT display. He needed to go and ask me to stand there for a while until his replacement came. While I was waiting an Alien, like me, came by and started reading the display. He was from a different part of the world, but just like me Alien. He looked at me and asked “what is Homophobia?” I tried to explain the best I could and then I thought of the meaning of the word, homophobia = fear of homosexuality.

Fear that is the fuel for hate. I came to the realization that some people hate homosexuality and gender difference and all of it, because they are afraid. Most people on the LGBT community may say now DUUUH… It was an epiphany for me, okay?! LGBT people are Aliens in their own planet, for some people.

I believe that this culture, US culture, is a lot more open than the one I come from and I know that information and keeping and open mind is the only way of tearing down those barriers that still exist. I am a information/knowledge junky, so I safezone.jpgsafezone.jpgwatch shows on discovery channel about LGBT, issues I watch the Logo channel to learn about the culture, I ask questions when I feel it is appropriate and I even signed up for a training so that I can be a safe person for them to turn if they need a friendly face.

Some people think that homosexuality is contagious, that it can be brought upon by your parents attitude, or that it is a choice. I know that there is a lot of judgment from all sides and I pity those that miss having wonderful friends and meeting exceptional people for fear of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

I can say I am not LGBT-literate, but I am a little less ignorant and my mind has opened a lot. I still have a lot to learn. I truly believe that we are all the same, and I act accordingly…Do you?

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