first generation

Assumptions.

four doors for more whores

Meanwhile at Costco…

What makes people think that certain things are okay?

Why are Americans so afraid of anyone who isn’t white? (And by that, I mean skin color over race)

Stereotypes.  …or assholes…

That is what.

 

 

Why do people say racist or sexist things? It’s because that’s how we were raised. We were raised to believe certain things. Also for the lack of exposure can lead to mindless racists thoughts. If you read my last post, you discovered the cute/embarrassing story of how my little baby cousin made an unknown racist remark. He was never exposed to something. Never taught. He didn’t care to have a friend who was a different color than him. He just wanted a friend to play with because he was sick of the adults. It was probably me who was acting racist.  (*laugh quietly to myself on how I realized this too late*) But I also was playing it cautious in case my little cousin presented the idea directly to the kid in front of the kid’s parents. Ugh. What a loophole.

The fact of the matter is that even though we are trying to not act offensively, that the action of not doing so may still be a racist act! That just sucks.

Now I have my moments. I’m sure we all do. I won’t say I’m not racist (I also won’t say that I’m an angel either) because of the shit I do by accident.

I am not part of the white culture. However, my skin color may say otherwise. I am first generation. And many people have tried to guess my culture because, as my name suggests, I’m not really white but I am still like white people.

I am like them because I was raised around white culture. Every single teacher in my elementary school was white. Most of my classmates were white (or Hispanic). But most of my best friends ended up not being mostly white. Other than a couple of friends, I’m not really close to anyone who isn’t a first generation kid like me. I just feel that they “get” me more. It’s what I have in common. Not really ethnicity. It’s something deeper. They grew up around white culture too even though they aren’t really white. They have similar thoughts and feelings towards many of the same things that I do. White culture is everywhere. Is it bad? Not really. Is it good? Not really. It just caters to people who look white and have lots of money is all.

Sometimes I hate the color of my skin. As though it didn’t really match my ethnicity or my strange name to other people. I didn’t really have much in common with the kids growing up. They seemed to live completely different lives than me. I just became a “Yes Man.” I tried to fit in as much as I could. It was hard because I was really shy and quiet. No one really encouraged me to be bold, outspoken and passionate. I feel like this is white culture sometimes. It’s kind of monochrome and passionless. Sure there are the kids on TV screaming for candy and going into time out. I wasn’t this child. Kids on TV were strange. They were the boss in some ways. Nothing like the real world. White culture is kind of like a kid without a bedtime. Always running around when it shouldn’t.

White culture tries to be encouraging of new cultures, others’ practices and sensitive to stereotypes. But it didn’t prepare me for that. How many times did I try to understand a black family’s way of life when I was growing up? What about Indian traditions? How about learning Spanish and trying it out on real native speakers? (Come on, California.) I just read them in textbooks. Maybe saw a few films. But real life is different. Life is really about experiences. I didn’t get many experiences from other cultures other than from school.

So I revisit the question: Why are Americans so afraid of anyone who isn’t white? The reason is: that they know what they know. Many Americans haven’t made Syrian immigrant friends before this immigrant crisis. They don’t really know the culture or perhaps even what makes a Syrian different than any other Arab. They can’t distinguish because they can only tell white people apart. (I can too) Media is a big foe. That’s what the eyes see.  But sometimes visual testimony is wrong. Much of the time, stereotypes are wrong. They are cool people like you. Maybe even braver, because they have to go through hoops of fire.

I can only see the world through my eyes. Sometimes my eyes are smudged with wrongful assumptions. Sometimes my body does things that try to protect me in strange situations. Sometimes I am just ignorant and I just ask a million billion questions. But wanting to learn is better than turning you head away, right?


P.S. The man who owned this car was seemingly white and also wore a Disneyland work uniform. Awesome, huh? They have lives too. Maybe he borrowed the car… from one of the Disney princesses.

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Wise Women

How smelly is this car...

The women that I know are women I have seen from a distance.

I have seen them grow up. I have heard their secrets. I have listened to their “grown-up” problems. I looked at them as if they were gods. Those who can slip through anything. Strong enough to tell you off truthfully. They were smart, loving and independent.

Until they stopped.

Those women who I looked up to started to show the wrinkles in their lives to me. And when the wrinkles became mile high canyons, I stopped looking up to them. They were no longer strong, independent and even their love felt forced. When did everything stop being perfect? When did they start shitting on my hopes and admiration for them? It wasn’t enough to know they made mistakes, but to know that their mistakes were so unlike how I visualized them. Their mistakes were so deep and so silly that I wondered how they even built their lives without hesitation. How did they go so long with being so unhappy? How did they tolerate that unhappiness for so long?

I have a mother, four aunts (her sisters) and my own sister. In other words, people that I thought should have been my role models on how to be a strong independent woman. It turns out, every action that I have seen has been selfish. Knowingly bad choices, deep depression, ignoring the truth about themselves, drug addiction, unchecked severe anxiety and even late divorce has made them seem… selfishly broken. I have learned many things from their abundant mistakes. The first thing being: tolerating things. They just tolerate the bad until they have had enough. This is scary to me because I do it so well myself. I guess I learned from the best… But this is a bad thing because it means that I have the will to tolerate staying with a bad husband, tolerating staying at a bad job, or tolerating no self-growth before either exploding or becoming an unhappy puppet. I have a tendency to accept that something isn’t working out but staying with it anyway. I blame my high toleration on the fact that I don’t know what I want out of life. And I have seen that the women in my life have also been confused about this as well. They don’t know what makes them happy without bringing outer variables into it. There is nothing about themselves that keeps them on a self-actualized autopilot. And to define “self-actualized pilot,” sure there is turbulence, but at least there is a happy constant in their life. Most likely from within. A fact too far from the current truth.

I fear for my future because I can go down a path that resembles theirs. One mistake and I’m automatically like them. I have lived that way most of my adult life. Avoiding myself being remotely like them. Even being in their presence now scares me. Like they will somehow touch their skin onto mine and I will fail at life. But I know that is just a silly, ignorant thing to say. What I mean is that I just don’t want to compare myself to them. Not until I get it together. A happy, fulfilled life. Most likely medicated and visiting a psychiatrist’s office often. At least I can prevent the problems from happening because I am starting to see them emerge. Nonetheless, I am worried. (See? Anxiety.)

There is a quote that I really liked from a Tyler Perry film. Most recently, I have been thinking about it a lot. It’s about how you are the reason you succeed or fail in life. I identify with it, because I have blamed the adults in my life for causing me emotional problems even though that I shouldn’t marinate in those types of thoughts.

You’re in jail
because of what you did.
Learn how to take some responsibility
for yourself. For your own stuff.
I can’t stand folks wanna be the victim.
“This person did this so I’m this way.”
Everybody got a story.
Your mama and daddy
gave you life.
That’s all they do. No matter
how good, how bad the life was…
…it’s up to you to make something of it.
Suck it up and shut the hell up.

-Madea from “Madea Goes To Jail”

Harsh and true words Madea. (She is such a wise badass) This world values different things. Mistakes from the women and men in my life will always happen. No one’s perfect. But repeat offenders are a real problem. I would like to not be one of these people. I want to be successful and happy. I want a partner that wants the same things and will undergo the same constant struggles as me. I want to teach my kids that they will make the same mistakes until they will get it right. I want them to look up to me and see that I can form healthy relationships and hopefully see how it can benefit them. As someone who is a first generation kid in this country, it seems like I will know a little better about how to handle my kids and find what I want and don’t want. But I am jumping ahead a few years… That is if I even have kids or even a person to mentor in life.

But back to the women. Again, I have learned so much from them. I have shared laughs, professional advice, fun day trips and have seen above and beyond hospitality from them. They took me in when they didn’t have to. They are still wonderfully kind people. They are absolute treasures in my life. After all, they are still family. Family doesn’t ignore each other. If anything they are guilty of sharing too much. I just wish that I could see them live up to their full and free potential again. Confidence, independence, strength, intelligence and love. It’s all I want to see.

-The Human Girl