On the Amtrak from Boston to New York City
The white woman across the aisle from me says,
‘Look, look at all the history, that house
on the hill there is over two hundred years old, ‘
as she points out the window past me
into what she has been taught. I have learned
little more about American history during my few days
back East than what I expected and far less
of what we should all know of the tribal stories
whose architecture is 15,000 years older
than the corners of the house that sits
museumed on the hill. ‘Walden Pond, ‘
the woman on the train asks, ‘Did you see Walden Pond? ‘
and I don’t have a cruel enough heart to break
her own by telling her there are five Walden Ponds
on my little reservation out West
and at least a hundred more surrounding Spokane,
the city I pretended to call my home. ‘Listen, ‘
I could have told her. ‘I don’t give a shit
about Walden. I know the Indians were living stories
around that pond before Walden’s grandparents were born
and before his grandparents’ grandparents were born.
I’m tired of hearing about Don-fucking-Henley saving it, too,
because that’s redundant. If Don Henley’s brothers and sisters
and mothers and father hadn’t come here in the first place
then nothing would need to be saved.’
But I didn’t say a word to the woman about Walden
Pond because she smiled so much and seemed delighted
that I thought to bring her an orange juice
back from the food car. I respect elders
of every color. All I really did was eat
my tasteless sandwich, drink my Diet Pepsi
and nod my head whenever the woman pointed out
another little piece of her country’s history
while I, as all Indians have done
since this war began, made plans
for what I would do and say the next time
somebody from the enemy thought I was one of their own.
— Sherman Alexie
The truth is simply that the dichotomy we construct with the “misandry 4 lyfe” taglines and the “all men are this way or that way” framework is as dangerous as it is disingenuous. It allows enormous amounts of young women to believe that, in their support of what they perceive to be a wholly progressive and benign cause, they are exempt from upholding the status quo which subjugates so many others. It oversimplifies incredibly complex social issues. And it erases the very intersections of privilege and oppressions which define our lives and make the need to fight for equality so essential. If we are going to consider ourselves feminists — activists of any kind, really — it behooves us to make that word mean as much as possible, and be as honest as it can be. Even if it means consulting the skeletons in our own closets.
“imma take u grandpa style imma take your grandpa style”
idk maybe my grandpa donated his shit to a thrift shop with the hope that someone less fortunate than he could purchase those clothes and feel the comfort he felt not for some alt middle class white boy to take up and rap about
Teju Cole continues to devastate in 140 characters or less.
ProPublica: Everything we know so far about drone strikes
It’s one of my favorite things to do. Regardless of the colonial ties of our idioma, us Chican@s (and many other Latin@s) have still kept our indigenous roots with certain words, customs, foods, etc.
But that’s not what this post is about.
This post is about me and my particular history with speaking Spanish. It hasn’t really been until pretty recently that I was proud of speaking Spanish. I remember comin’ back from Ayutla, Jalisco (where all of my abuel@s and both of my padres are from) my junior year of high school and finally feeling proud of speaking Spanish. It was that look in my abuelas eyes as she saw me as a grown kid and almost a man. She saw my hair 14 inches long and just smiled and all she wanted to do was brush it. She knew I was finally starting to define myself and be me. Not givin’ any care to whatever anyone else was saying. I was much more conscious of myself and I had been really goin’ through depression hard for several years but when I was in México I felt free. I felt like I was where I wanted and needed to be. With my familia. But capítal y economicos has changed that shit for my family.
Take a step back and talk about growin’ up as a Chicano in a school predominantly with Black/Arab/White/Latin@ and a few Native students. Latin@s all stuck together really, I knew people from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, but mostly México. I was always sat next to the White kids and one of the biggest things I remember from everyone, teachers and students alike (unless they were Arab or Latin@) would never be able to pronunce my name. I had to shorten my name so they were able to pronounce it and so it wouldn’t bother me.Tenia orgullo en la pronunciación de mi nombre. But kids would make fun of me for it if they weren’t Latin@ and it was usually the White students. They would make fun of my nose and said that it was big because I picked it all the time. They made fun of my clothes being baggy and said I looked ghetto. Every time I would speak Spanish teachers or other students who didn’t have a second language in the home would discourage it. Especially in the classroom. People told me all kinds of things. But most of all, us Latin@s were picked on all the time for our use of language but never when we brought our food on the off chance that we were able to afford to bring it and weren’t using the free breakfast/lunch program.
In middle school I moved into a wealthier suburb and my family managed to get out of homelessness and I was transferred into a new school. Mostly White kids basically. I had no one to speak Spanish to other than my family and that shit was either fetishized hella hard or I was told to “speak English cuz this is America.” So I refused to speak it unless it was Spanish class which I took then in High School which was more diverse ethnically, but extremely segregated when it came to non-AP/Honors kids. My parents taught me how to speak Spanish, but nothing grammatically and no one ever corrected me really. Especially since my mom only had up to an Elementary School education in México and my pops did up to High School but in the south side of Chicago.
I hated it when teachers criticized my lack of understanding of basic grammatical concepts when it came to the written form but could do it in a snap in talking form. I still do. Shit bugs me all the time. It still bugs me that I go to a University where I can’t really talk to people in Spanish because they’re mostly White folks and unless I feel comfortable with someone, I don’t do it because I’ve had way too much of a history of White people condescending me for shit and acting like they “know Spanish more than I do.”
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have any accent really (other than a strange Mexican/Argentinian mix) when I speak it. I’ve always kept that pride within my language within me though because of my familia.
Spanish to me is so much more than just some shit you use to make your resume look good or feel like it’s a necessity cuz “you might as well b/c I’m in Southern California.” It ain’t some shit to use to try and sound sexy. It’s a marker. A marker of the colonial impact on mi gente y la gente de America Latina. A means of resistance when I speak the language that has been denied so many Chican@s and Latin@s here because they felt or their parents felt like they needed to lose their culture to survive Amerikkka. It’s poetic, the emotions I express en español no puede comparar como yo lo digo en ingles. It’s the language of my abuel@s. My abuela who defended me from her own children when they called me a faggot in her own home and showed me that familia goes deeper than geographic location. My abuelo who showed me what it meant to work all your life and live a life of resistance through storytelling.
There’s a lot of shit Spanish is to me. But especially when it comes from Chican@s and other Latin@s it’s a lot more to me than just their fuckin’ grammar.
oh beyonce i think i love you more and more each day
why more people dont pick you as their feminist icon i’ll never know
This is why there is a long history of black female artists being tagged as divas for refusing to let anyone they didn’t know touch their hair. White people who don’t know how to do black hair are incredibly common in the industry, but we’re all supposed to pretend they know even when it leaves people bald. That’s a level of privileged logic that I don’t get, but I hear pretty often.
Remember that hair school chick who got all pissy because a WOC demanded that she get a WOC to do her hair??? This is exactly how that shit works. The narcissism of these folks actin like they the best but don’t know a co wash from a hot oil treatment when it comes to Black hair.
It’s really going against everything we’re taught industry-wise - that there’s a certain type of black film that people want. They want comedies. They want historical dramas, but they don’t want contemporary representations - we know that’s not true. We’re told that independent film lovers like yourself, folks that are used to watching art house films, won’t come out and see a film with black people in it. I’ve been told that in rooms, big rooms, studio rooms, and I know that’s not true.