Monday, June 21, 2010

In my culture - this hatred doesn't belong

Investing in our children by teaching them to be ashamed of the way they look. Does this sound familiar?  Growing up I was always fascinated with the diversity of African Americans. I yearned for the soul and drive, and the will they have.  I always cried when I saw shows about racism and slavery. It was always so awful and difficult for me to imagine some people live with those issues every day.  It is so heartbreaking that our country was even in THAT place. I am not proud of it. I am not proud that these hate issues keep coming up. Hatred for people based on their sexual orientation.  And even counter attack racism. I know it is real. In my little Caucasian bubble that shielded me from experiencing much racism I grew up thinking it was over and that it was something from the past.  I remember a big deal was the Rodney King - and riots in LA in 1992.  But I continued to move up in secretarial positions and became more and more exposed to the Politically correct culture.  But racism is still there.

Recently I've read some articles about "White" people. The premise is basically that "White" doesn't really mean anything to anyone.  As a generalized "white person" I have no history really, just this sad american history with persecution to other races here in the US. I mean what legacy does "white" have?  White has lost its culture lost the meat to our culture. White is a culture of technology and money, of capitol society. That brings to mind "Wall-street?" republicans. Cut throat politics?  Retirees in Arizona - white racists. Nationalists (a new term to me). I don't want to be associated with those things, but now all this racism against brown people has made me sometimes feel embarrassed of being white, in certain situations. Sometimes when I sit on the train and there are several different ethnicities around I want to tell everyone I like all people the same.
But that wouldn't work anyway. I often feel the urge to burst out in spanish to people I don't know and say some kind words.   I know that sounds dumb but with all the crapity crap going on I don't want anyone to assume I am one of the mean ones.

When I met my husband I learned "What is culture?". But it really took me moving to Mexico to understand my own culture. I guess we are never forced to think about it until we feel really different.  Many youth even think we don't have a culture. It is sort of lost, not really celebrated in a "this is my culture" sense. However, it still has nothing to do with "White" my culture is US culture. I think it doesn't even matter any of those things like White, black, brown, green purple - if I like boys or girls - married or single - religion.

Here is how I see my culture - this is the world I see through my eyes:

  • In my culture - you can celebrate someones life when they die. 
  • In my culture - everyone is important - not just the children and not just the adults.
  • In my culture - everyone has a right to their own religious or non religious views.
  • In my culture - it is ok to disagree and still like each other
  • In my culture - babies are perfect and adorable regardless of color
  • In my culture - we are always trying to figure out how to be better parents. 
  • In my culture - we recognize that everyone makes mistakes
  • In my culture - we try to come from love not hate
  • In my culture - we try to treat others how you would want to be treated
  • In my culture - we value education yet recognize that intelligence is not dependent on education
  • In my culture - EVERYONE has great potential
  • In my culture - we don't talk people out of things they want we say " if you put your mind to it you can do anything"
These are some of the ways that I see my world.  What kind of world do you want? I think it is important to live in the world we want. 

And now with the whole Arizona thing - in a way it is bringing these problems to the surface and that is important. It IS making a higher priority of these issues - BUT in another way it is getting worse before it gets better. Yet the publicity of all of this is creating this problem  where youngsters are starting to internalize the problems of our culture and hate their own color of skin.

I'm such a baby when it comes to this.  I am so terribly heart broken that there is so much ugliness against my family out there. My children are 1/2 mexican and so bright an incredibly beautiful. And the closest people in my life are from mexico.   

Did I ever tell you I too have personally experienced racsim. I am of european decent a few hundred years ago.  My great great great great great(a bunch of them) grandfather was the illegitimate son of the king of holland so the family story goes and he plotted to kill the king and was exiled. And he came to the US.    Truly though we are all muts any of us who have families that are from the US for a few hundred years.  We are not pure - we have mixes of everything. Anyway, I'm rambling... my point is I was walking into a convenience mart with my niece and nephew that had just moved back from Mexico after living there a few years. I was speaking my broken spanish ( at the time)  and another mutt (caucasian woman) walked in and said " Fuckin spanish - They fuckin need to learn english if they want to be in my country" to me.  
The point of this is that what is going on in our society is so sad and that was back in 2005. 

If you are an anti-immigration person - what kind of world do you want to live in. The blending of cultures here in the US is inevitable. There are so many cultures here in Portland you would not even believe it Portland is highly diverse. What kind of world do you want for the children? What kind of values do you really have? 

Shouldn't we all be Humanitarians?